IndyCar qualifying debut ‘clearly above expectations’ – Grosjean
The texture-good story on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park was delivered by rookie Romain Grosjean who humbled a number of the NTT IndyCar Collection’ greatest on the way in which to qualifying seventh.
Instantly behind the 34-year-old Frenchman had been Crew Penske’s Josef Newgarden, a two-time collection champion, and Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta, who additionally occurred to be drivers who completed second and third within the 2020 standings.
Grosjean was two spots all the way down to defending championship winner and Chip Ganassi Racing pilot Scott Dixon in fifth and CGR’s Marcus Ericsson in sixth, which spoke to the place his No. 51 Honda landed on debut. It was a heady efficiency for the ex-Formulation 1 driver who led the modest Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing group to a shock outcome; teammate Ed Jones was 13th within the No. 18 DCR with Vasser Sullivan Honda.
“What a day, seventh in qualifying, that’s clearly above expectations,” Grosjean beamed. “However being so near the [Firestone] Quick Six, clearly, I used to be actually hoping we might get in nevertheless it’s nonetheless actually nice.”
The sense of accomplishment for a driver whose life was threatened late final 12 months in an unforgettable crash and fireplace was palpable. And whereas qualifying seventh gained’t assure an incredible 90-lap race on Sunday, Grosjean delighted in unleashing uncooked pace after spending his closing years in F1 mired with underwhelming equipment.
“The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR crew actually helped me to grasp the qualifying tires,” he stated. “We’ve executed actually good work with the arrange and I believe we all know the place to look to go sooner, which may be very optimistic. We’re going to get pleasure from this at the moment however let’s concentrate on tomorrow. We’ve 90 laps of racing to do, I have to study tire degradation, gasoline saving, refueling, pit stops, how an IndyCar race goes. So, nonetheless loads to study tomorrow however I’m actually proud of at the moment.”