Alex Palou set a new Indianapolis 500 record with an average speed of 234.217mph over four laps to take pole for the 107th running of the race.
A record-breaking ‘Fast Six’ session saw opening laps of more than 235mph for multiple drivers as Scott Dixon’s pole record from 2022 was smashed. Palou was the first to hit the 234mph average mark before Rinus VeeKay went just 0.006mph slower over 10 miles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Felix Rosenqvist was the last man with a chance to take the pole away from the IndyCar series leader but the Arrow McLaren driver fell agonisingly short, qualifying third and on the outside of the front row for next week’s race. All of the front row were faster than Dixon’s pole time a year ago.
Santino Ferrucci couldn’t match his stunning effort in the ‘Fast 12’ but still qualified fourth for A.J. Foyt Enterprises alongside Pato O’Ward and Dixon.
Harvey at the death, Rahal out
The pressure was massively on for three of the four Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing drivers in Last Chance qualifying. The team lacked speed all week but Katherine Legge did manage to make it into the show without the stress of Sunday.
Sting Ray Robb of Dale Coyne Racing joined Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard in the pressure cooker after seeing his teammate David Malukas sneak in late on Saturday.
Lundgaard and Robb got themselves comfortably safe with their guaranteed runs but it was much more tense for Harvey and Rahal. The latter snuck ahead of his British teammate on the opening runs, forcing Harvey to go again with five minutes left in the hour.
Conor Daly’s reaction on Twitter to Harvey’s last-gasp effort to make the Indy 500 field.
The 30-year-old gave it to goes and was slower on his first attempt but he made one last hail mary attempt, without cooling his engine, and went 0.007mph faster than Rahal to send the team owner’s son home a week early.
Alexander Rossi was arguably the star of Saturday qualifying, posting a superb speed on his first and only run of the day. But things were not so simple on Sunday as the rising track temperatures saw the Californian end the ‘Fast 12’ seventh, where he’ll start the Indy 500.
His Arrow McLaren teammate Tony Kanaan also missed out on the ‘Fast Six’ as did Chip Ganassi Racing duo Takuma Sato and Marcus Ericsson, who are both former winners of this race. Benjamin Pedersen and Will Power were also bumped out of the top six in 11th and 12th.
Indy 500 final grid positions 2023
|1||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||234.217|
|2||Rinus VeeKay||Ed Carpenter Racing||234.211|
|3||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren||234.114|
|4||Santino Ferrucci||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||233.661|
|5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren||233.158|
|6||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||233.151|
|7||Alexander Rossi||Arrow McLaren||233.110|
|8||Takuma Sato||Chip Ganassi Racing||233.098|
|9||Tony Kanaan||Arrow McLaren||233.076|
|10||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||232.889|
|11||Benjamin Pedersen||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||232.671|
|12||Will Power||Team Penske||232.635|
|13||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||233.689|
|14||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||233.677|
|15||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||233.662|
|16||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||232.433|
|17||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||232.402|
|18||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||232.133|
|19||Romain Grosjean||Andretti Autosport||231.997|
|20||Helio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||231.954|
|21||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||231.951|
|22||Simon Pagenaud||Meyer Shank Racing||231.878|
|23||David Malukas||Dale Coyne Racing||231.769|
|24||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||231.682|
|25||Stefan Wilson||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||231.648|
|26||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Autosport||231.353|
|27||Agustin Canapino||Juncos Hollinger Racing||231.320|
|28||Callum Ilott||Juncos Hollinger Racing||231.182|
|29||RC Enerson||Abel Motorsports||231.129|
|30||Katherine Legge||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||231.070|
|31||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||229.649|
|32||Sting Ray Robb||Dale Coyne Racing||229.549|
|33||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||229.159|