IndyCar Road America: Rosenqvist snatches win from O’Ward

Chip Ganassi Racing's Felix Rosenqvist’s relentless hunt down of Patricio O’Ward paid off on the penultimate lap of the second race in the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, snatching the lead and going on to score his first NTT IndyCar Series victory.

IndyCar Road America: Rosenqvist snatches win from O’Ward

The Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet of O’Ward made a strong start from pole, holding off the Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda of Colton Herta, followed by the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh car of Alex Palou.

But behind them, Ryan Hunter-Reay braked a little earlier than Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda and Will Power’s Team Penske-Chevrolet, the latter of which clipped the Andretti car’s left rear, firing the #28 into the Turn 1 tire wall. Santino Ferrucci spun Jack Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing-Honda down to the tail of the field, while near the back, Conor Daly ran into the back of Oliver Askew and broke his front wing.

On the exit of Turn 3, Power and Rahal banged wheels as the Penske driver dived down the inside, which put the RLL car up on the curbs. Rahal’s car would have survived that impact but Rosenqvist also dived down the inside in the second Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, pitching the RLL machine off the track and into the end of a wall.

Power was penalized for the Hunter-Reay collision and was made to restart at the back of the field with Ferrucci and Daly, who’d also been penalized for impacts. O’Ward took that green flag at the start of Lap 5, ahead of Herta, Palou, Dixon and Rosenqvist. In sixth was a man who had sidestepped all the first lap chaos, rookie Rinus VeeKay in the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy, ahead of the top primary-tired car, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport.

But at the end of that lap, there was another yellow, as Power flew off the track at Turn 13, broke his front wing on an advertising hoarding, stalled, got a bump start and headed for the pits. Thanks to the length of the Road America course, he was still on the lead lap.

At the second restart, Palou got the jump on Herta, got the draft from leader O’Ward and moved into second place at Turn 1.

Palou remained 1.1-seconds behind O’Ward for the next five laps, and the pair edged away from Herta who had Dixon, Rosenqvist, VeeKay in close attendance. Rossi retained seventh place, 1.4sec back, but if his pace on primaries was respectable, Newgarden also running the harder Firestones was struggling, losing spots to Charlie Kimball and Marco Andretti.

Newgarden ducked into the pits on Lap 11. Herta and Dixon did the same next time by, along with Andretti and Pagenaud. Dixon’s right-rear tire change was slow and so he couldn’t beat Herta out of the pitlane.

Palou stopped next time by and emerged well ahead of Herta, while Rossi had a strong stop but on cold tires – now reds – he couldn’t stave off Dixon.

O’Ward left his stop until Lap 15, and emerged still ahead of Palou. Rosenqvist and the third Ganassi car of Ericsson went until Lap 17 and both emerged ahead of Dixon, although Ericsson on cold tires had to give up his spot to Dixon and Rossi. A lap later, Rossi outbraked Dixon into Turn 5.

Thanks to Lap 6 stops, Power and Ferrucci were able to delay their next stop and ran out front, although O’Ward demoted Ferrucci to third on Lap 19 and Power on Lap 20. He was now seven seconds ahead of his ‘real’ pursuer, Palou, who in turn was 3.5sec ahead of Rosenqvist. Not for long, however – on Lap 22, Rosenqvist passed Palou into Turn 1. Palou would soon have to be looking in his mirrors, for Rossi’s charge continued, past Herta and he was now only 2.3sec behind the DCR car.

Power finally stopped for primaries at the start of Lap 23, leaving O’Ward leading Rosenqvist by seven seconds, Palou dropping into the clutches of Rossi who was now four seconds ahead of Herta.

Dixon was struggling to keep his rear tires under him, dropping a place to teammate Ericsson before peeling into the pits. Ericsson, kept charging and was soon on Herta’s tail. Colton in fact had to give up positions to not only Ericsson but also Takuma Sato in the RLL-Honda.

Rosenqvist was still charging hard and had his deficit to O’Ward down to 4.3sec before the Arrow McLaren SP driver pitted. The Ganassi driver (and teammate Ericsson) stopped next time by, but Rosenqvist’s car was dropped before the left-front tire changer had finished, and he had to be lifted again.

That allowed O’Ward back in front without issue, leading by eight seconds, with Rossi now third, but four seconds back and ahead of the recovering Ferrucci, Herta who had passed Dixon and the off-strategy Power.

Dixon was still struggling for pace, and had to allow teammate Ericsson past to tackle Power who was clearly trying to stretch his stint so he’d make just one more stop.

Rosenqvist was hunting down O’Ward, sometimes half a second a lap faster, and the gap came down to 5.8sec with 20 laps of the 55-lap race to go. Herta and Ericsson got past Ferrucci on Laps 36 and 37 respectively, but the pair were now 10sec behind third-placed Rossi. Power had given up four places to Newgarden, Sato, Palou and Kimball as he continued trying to eke out his fuel. Palou’s car had never felt good since his first pitstop and worse after his second, and he was going to be lucky to take home a Top 10 finish.

Ferrucci and Power stopped on Lap 39, the latter having run 18 laps on his previous tank of fuel. Almost simultaneously, Ericsson passed Herta for fourth around the outside of Turn 5, prompting Colton to head to the pits.

Dixon’s poor race continued when he stopped on Lap 40 and stalled, although the Ganassi team were quick to refire him, and he stumbled away.

Lap 41 was when O’Ward pulled in with his lead now under four seconds, Rosenqvist and Ericsson going one lap longer. This time Rosenqvist got away cleanly, but he hadn’t enjoyed a strong in-lap and emerged five seconds behind O’Ward who was on alternate compound tires. The gap stretched to 6.2sec as the Ganassi driver tried to get his tires up to temperature. Next time by, however, Rosenqvist was clearly on a mission and trimmed the gap to 5.6sec with 10 laps to go.

With six to go, the gap was 3.8sec; with four to go it was two seconds, and O’Ward let the late-stopping and feisty Daly to unlap himself. That allowed Rosenqvist to draw still closer and the tension was further heightened for O’Ward as he was needing to follow a fuel number, having made his final pitstop one lap before the Ganassi driver, and nurse his red tires.

After the McLaren driver ran wide a couple of times, Rosenqvist was on him, and on the penultimate lap during the run down to Turn 5, O’Ward had to stick to the inside to defend. Rosenqvist allowed him to do so but ducked back behind him got on the gas earlier and had the momentum to take the inside line up the hill to Turn 6.

O’Ward bravely tried to stay alongside but finally conceded the lead to the Swedish sophomore who went on to win by 2.8699sec. Finally Dixon’s winning run has come to an end, but Ganassi’s has not.

Ross came home third for his first podium of the year, 5.7sec behind O’Ward and the same distance ahead of Ericssson, while Herta was a distant fifth ahead of Ferrucci, Palou, Sato, Newgarden, Kimball, Power and Dixon.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Team Laps Gap
1 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 55
2 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Arrow McLaren SP 55 2.869
3 27 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 55 8.616
4 8 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 55 14.223
5 88 United States Colton Herta
Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport 55 32.416
6 18 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 55 35.888
7 55 Spain Alex Palou
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh 55 36.770
8 30 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 55 47.943
9 1 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 55 48.786
10 4 United States Charlie Kimball
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 55 53.060
11 12 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 55 53.971
12 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 55 54.534
13 22 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 55 56.393
14 21 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 55 1'00.437
15 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton
United Kingdom Carlin 55 1'00.468
16 26 United States Zach Veach
United States Andretti Autosport 55 1'06.835
17 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Meyer Shank Racing 55 1'08.295
18 20 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 55 1'45.468
19 98 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 54 1 Lap
20 14 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 54 1 Lap
21 7 United States Oliver Askew
Arrow McLaren SP 53 2 Laps
22 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 0 55 Laps
23 15 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 0 55 Laps
shares
comments
2020 Road America GP IndyCar Race 2 results

Previous article

2020 Road America GP IndyCar Race 2 results

Next article

O’Ward “ecstatic” but also “disappointed” after stellar drive

O’Ward “ecstatic” but also “disappointed” after stellar drive
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021