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Brake issues hinder Rosenqvist’s chances for victory in Long Beach

Felix Rosenqvist was unable to convert pole into a win as brake problems came into play shortly after the green flag fell in Long Beach.

Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

While Rosenqvist was able to the lead opening lap, which started under caution due to a Race Control issue. Once the green flag came out on lap 2 of 85, though he quickly lost the top spot to fellow front row starter Will Power, who surged by with an outside move into Turn 1 in the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet.

It proved to mark the beginning of a downward slide as the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda quickly fell to fourth by lap 5 and then sixth just three laps later.

The Swede stayed out on track despite the caution coming out on lap 15, staying the course with the conservative strategy and pitting on laps 29 and 59. In the end, he was never able to recover the lost track position and he was left to finish ninth at the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit.

“The opening segment is where we essentially lost the race,” Rosenqvist said.

“We had some issues with the brakes: they were running really hot, so I was really off on my bias and had to chase it. We really lacked braking performance, which meant I kept getting passed in Turn 1, inside and outside. Without braking confidence, you can't protect, and you can't go forward.

“But the team did well despite that, we kept our heads cool - even though it sucked to go plummeting down the field.”

 

With two front row starts and two top 10 results in the opening two points-paying races to start the season, Rosenqvist sits seventh in the championship standings, 37 points behind leader Josef Newgarden.

“We are looking at the big picture and a top 10 result for the team is still really great for us,” said Rosenqivst, who also finished third in the non-points event at The Thermal Club last month.

“Of course, we would have liked to translate the pole into a win, but this is good momentum for everyone.”

Now, the attention shifts to the upcoming weekend’s round at Barber Motorsports Park, a track that Rosenqvist has two top 10 results in four starts.

“We tested there a couple of weeks ago, which is helpful,” Rosenqvist said. “It’s good to have that under your belt going into the race weekend where most of the teams haven’t.

“I still think it’s a track that we pointed out that we want to work on. I feel pretty good about it, I’m not 100% that our package will be as strong as it was here, but I think we have a good baseline to work with.

“First road course of the season and I’m excited to see how the car is going to feel.”

Read Also:

Watch: Round 3 - Long Beach: 6 Minute Highlights

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