Sunday, June 4, 2023

Alex Palo achieves a milestone: first Spanish pole in the Indianapolis 500

Oriol Cervia was the first to achieve it in 2011 (he was 3rd), Fernando Alonso came very close in 2017 (5th) and Alex Palou himself copped it last year (2nd to Scott Dixon). But finally, in 2023, a Spaniard has achieved one of the most difficult feats in world motorsport: pole position in the Indianapolis 500.

It’s a knife-edge four laps and 10 miles where lifting off the gas means losing everything and losing the line or turning the wheel one degree too far sends you into the wall at 390 km/h. collides. If the asphalt temperature rises when it’s your turn, you’re out of options, and you’re always at the mercy of the wind that blows into your attempt. It’s the best conditions at the Indy 500… and it’s the reason it took a Spaniard 107 editions to qualify.

Alex Pallo has achieved this brilliantly. Classified as fourth in the first lap, the Fast 12, and finishing the job with a batch for national motorsports history: 235,131, 234,399, 233,930 and 233,415.

Average: 234.217 mph, a figure we’ll never forget — it’s the fastest pole in Indy 500 history and the second-fastest four-lap stint ever given — and that doesn’t mean he drove them 15 kilometers at an average of 377 km/h. But, even at that incredible speed… the difference of second place was barely… 4 thousandths of a second!!

Along with Palo, Rinus Veeck and Felix Rosenqvist would come out on the front row, unable to withstand the push from Barcelona, ​​who boasted the power of their Ganassi-Honda No. 10 against the McLaren cavalry, his future team, which had Tha dominated operations on Saturday. But today it was a Sunday and the jar of essence was to be opened in Spain at about midnight.

The 2022 Poleman hands over the baton to the 2023 Poleman.

It is true that pole at Indianapolis doesn’t mean much for 500 miles (in the last 10 editions only Simon Pagenaud won it in 2019) but in Pallo’s case it is very important, as it is his first pole position. is at ovals in his three and a half seasons in IndyCar. An unbeatable omen for next Sunday the 28th…

Since racing for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Palu was showing signs that the feat was within reach. Let us not forget that he had a wonderful career there. In his first participation, with no experience in ovals and with the worst car (Dale Coyne) on the grid, he got into a fight for pole position (7th). The following year, already with Ganassi, he was once again one of the best (sixth), recovering from a tremendous crash on the same Saturday, qualifying almost to the point of winning the race (he was in second place). And second place in last year’s classification still resonates. There was just one more step left…and today he has taken it.

Palo scored his first pole in an oval and the first for a Spaniard in the Indy 500.

Glory…and $100,000

Alex Palou will be the star of a historic picture tomorrow, in which for the first time a Spaniard is positioned as the protagonist of the traditional image of three drivers making up the front row. But today another has emerged, less romantic but just as valuable… though in different words.

Because the Indianapolis 500 poleman received a $100,000 check for his achievement. A secondary prize…and he’ll surely turn up without thinking about getting his face stamped into the Borg Warner Trophy, the ceremony that makes the pilot who wins 500 miles “immortal” and for whom everyone at that time longs for victory.

The race begins on Sunday, May 28 at 6:45 p.m. ET, broadcast live on Movistar Deportes. Before that, tomorrow, the drivers will assemble the race engine and start running it in final practice before testing. After that, they’ll only shoot for two hours before the big moment, on Friday, Carb Day.

A winner, eliminated in dramatic fashion

Graham Rahal (RLLR), the only participant to be eliminated from the 107th edition of the Indy 500, will not be present at that event… no less than the winner of the race (1996), in a movie scene remembered for a moment in 2019 The same fate befell Fernando Alonso.

After a successful final attempt at the buzzer from his teammate Jack Harvey on Bump Day, the American was dropped in dramatic fashion. The Briton will be joined by Lundgaard (RLLR) and Robb (Dale Coyne) on the eleventh and final row of the starting grid.

grill output

Indy 500 2023

  • Alex Pallo (Ganassi) – 234.217 mph
  • Rinus VK (Carpenter) – 234.211 mph
  • Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren) – 234.114 mph
  • Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt) – 233.661 mph
  • Peto O’Ward (McLaren) – 233.158 mph
  • Scott Dixon (Ganassi) – 233.151 mph
  • Alexander Rossi (McLaren) – 233.110 mph (Fast 12)
  • Takuma Sato (Ganassi) – 233.098 mph (Fast 12)
  • Tony Kanaan (McLaren) – 233.076 mph (Fast 12)
  • Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi) – 232.899 mph (Fast 12)
  • Benjamin Pederson (AJ Foyt) – 232.671 mph (Fast 12)
  • Will Powers (Penske) – 232.625 mph (Fast 12)
  • Ed Carpenter (Carpenter)
  • Scott McLaughlin (carpenter)
  • Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti)
  • Conor Daly (carpenter)
  • Joseph Newgarden (Penske)
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay (Dreyer & Reinbold)
  • Romain Grosjean (Andretti)
  • Helio Castroneves (Mayor Shank)
  • Colton Herta (Andretti)
  • Simon Pagenaud (Mayor Shank)
  • David Malukas (Dale Coyne)
  • Marco Andretti (Andretti Hertha)
  • Stephen Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold)
  • Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti)
  • Agustin Canapino (Junkos)
  • Callum Ilott (Junkos)
  • RC Enerson (Abel Motorsport)
  • Catherine Legg (RLLR)
  • Christian Lundgaard (RLLR)
  • Sting Ray Robb (Dale Coyne)
  • Jack Harvey (RLLR)
  • World Nation News Desk
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