Felix Rosenqvist takes tight pole position for IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach 

Theo Pourchaire made his debut in the IndyCar series for McLaren, replacing the injured David Malukas

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Felix Rosenqvist secured pole position for the 2024 IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach by the smallest of margins, marking a victorious moment for Meyer Shank Racing

After switching from Arrow McLaren to Meyer Shank Racing post the 2023 season, Rosenqvist achieved the team’s first-ever pole position in an IndyCar points-paying race. 

He recorded a lap time of 1:06.0172s in the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit.

“It was hard. Honestly, I didn’t think I had it because I had a big tank-slapper out of (Turn) 5,” Rosenqvist said after qualifying. 

“This is a hard-fought one. It doesn’t come easy. Every lap out there, you’re flirting with the walls. That was a fun one.” 

This pole is Rosenqvist’s sixth since joining the IndyCar in 2019, with his last pole achieved at the 2023 season finale in September at Laguna Seca.

Rosenqvist’s qualification spot was narrowly clinched, beating two-time series champion Will Power by a mere 0.0039s. Power, driving the No.12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet, also showcased strong form, especially after a challenging practice session earlier that morning. 

His runner-up position represents his best qualifying performance on a road or street circuit since surpassing Mario Andretti as IndyCar’s all-time pole winner in September 2022.

Will Power at IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach | Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle
Will Power at IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach | Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

The tight qualification extended beyond Rosenqvist and Power, as Josef Newgarden, the 2024 season opener winner at St. Petersburg, qualified third. He was followed by Colton Herta and Marcus Ericsson, who also made it to the Firestone Fast Six. Sixth place was claimed by reigning series champion Alex Palou.

IndyCar debut for F2 champion

The event also marked the IndyCar debut of Theo Pourchaire, who qualified 22nd in the No.6 Arrow McLaren, replacing the injured David Malukas. Pourchaire, the reigning Formula 2 champion, steps in as Malukas continues his recovery from wrist surgery due to a preseason mountain biking accident.

Theo Pourchaire at IndyCar 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach | Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

The qualifying rounds showcased intense competition, with close margins throughout on a partly cloudy day in Southern California. 

Despite leading the practice session on Friday, Pato O’Ward was eliminated in the first round of qualifying and will start 14th.

Reigning Long Beach winner Kyle Kirkwood, who was quickest in the pre-qualifying practice, also faced a setback, not advancing past the second round and will start 10th.

The 85-lap race promises exciting competition among top-tier drivers under the dynamic conditions of street racing in Long Beach.

2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach – Fast 6 Qualifying Results

In IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach qualifying, Felix Rosenqvist took pole position lap time of 1:06.0172. He was closely followed by Will Power, who was just 0.0039s behind. Josef Newgarden placed third, with Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson, and Alex Palou rounding out the top six.

PosDriverTeamTop SpeedTime
1Felix RosenqvistMeyer Shank Racing107.3171:06.0172
2Will PowerTeam Penske107.311+0.0039s
3Josef NewgardenTeam Penske107.173+0.0887s
4Colton HertaAndretti106.734+0.3612s
5Marcus EricssonAndretti106.693+0.3867s
6Alex PalouChip Ganassi Racing106.467+0.5272s
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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