Kirkwood pakt eerste pole na spannende kwalificatie in Long Beach

  • Gepubliceerd op 16 apr 2023 08:18
  • comments 9
  • Door: Martijn Arnoldus

Kyle Kirkwood scoorde zaterdag in de straten van Long Beach zijn allereerste poleposition uit zijn IndyCar-carrière. De Andretti-coureur bleef Marcus Ericsson en teamgenoot Romain Grosjean nipt voor na een zeer spannende strijd om de eerste positie. Rinus VeeKay was al in Q1 uitgeschakeld en begint als negentiende.

Kirkwood beste startpositie was tot nu toe een vijfde positie. De 24-jarige Amerikaan was dan ook erg blij met het eindresultaat.

"Onze auto gaat dit weekend als een trein", zei Kirkwood na afloop van de kwalificatie. “We doen het hartstikke goed. We zijn er gewoon constant mee bezig, worden steeds beter, en ik zou niet gelukkiger kunnen zijn dan dit. Derde weekend met het team en ik heb al een pole.”

Grosjean was superblij voor hem en feliciteerde zijn stalgenoot meteen nadat hij de pitstraat kwam inrijden.

Minder gelukkig was Marcus Armstrong die in het tweede segment hard in de barrière terecht kwam. Ook David Malukas kuste de muur bij het begin van de sessie.

Uitslag

De wedstrijd beginf zondagavond 21.00 uur Nederlandse tijd en de Grand Prix van Long Beach is te volgen via een van de kanalen van ZiggoSport.

Harrylam, volgens mij heeft hij zichzelf 3 jaar vastgetekend.

Mentale klap voor Herta... is de amerikaanse lieveling voor nu even terug verwezen naar de grond, door Kirkwood die zn belofte waarmaakt.

  • 2
  • 16 apr 2023 - 11:06

Reacties (9)

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  • Wordt weer een zware en lange wedstrijd voor Veekay, die auto mist gewoon performance ! Dan maar hopen op een aantal causions, en een alternatieve strategie die werkt !

    • + 0
    • 16 apr 2023 - 09:20
    • Rinus moet zolangsamerhand maar eens naar een ander team gaan uitkijken.

      • + 1
      • 16 apr 2023 - 10:57
    • Harrylam, volgens mij heeft hij zichzelf 3 jaar vastgetekend.

      Mentale klap voor Herta... is de amerikaanse lieveling voor nu even terug verwezen naar de grond, door Kirkwood die zn belofte waarmaakt.

      • + 2
      • 16 apr 2023 - 11:06
    • Ja....financieel wel leuk natuurlijk......gelukkig is hij nog jong genoeg om de 3 jaar uit te zitten.
      Indy kan je toch tot ver in de 50 blijven rijden.....ha..ha...

      • + 0
      • 16 apr 2023 - 16:56
  • Marcus Ericsson, winnaar in St. Petersburg en tevens winnaar van de prestigieuze INDY 500 2022, vertrekt vanavond vanaf een prachtige p2.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Ericsson: Focus on qualifying improvements have paid off
    Marcus Ericsson credited his personal improvements in one-lap pace on working with mental and driver coaches, after qualifying second in Long Beach.

    Ericsson qualified fourth and fastest Chip Ganassi Racing driver in St. Petersburg last month, and today claimed second – his best ever road/street course qualifying performance – for the 48th Grand Prix of Long Beach. Teammates Alex Palou and Scott Dixon were fourth and sixth.

    The 2022 Indy 500 winner stated: “It was a really good session for us. I think a really good weekend. From the get-go we've been fast…
    Qualifying was a bit hectic with the red flags and stuff going on. Q2, we were on a really good lap, the red came out, we had to go for another set of tires to make sure we could transfer. Didn't have that sticker set [in the Fast Six], which would have been nice.

    Still it was a really good effort. Tied my best qualifying result in IndyCar, so I'm really happy about that. I worked really hard this winter to improve my qualifying performance. I've talked about it a lot, focused a lot on it, worked on it by myself and with my team. P4 in St. Pete and P2 here, that's progress.

    Like I said, our weakness or my weakness has been qualifying in IndyCar so far. I think our form this year, fastest in Thermal [pre-season test], I think that shows we're making progress. All my IndyCar career has been about making progress, getting better and better, stronger and stronger. Now we're a better package, better driver this year again.

    I think everyone should look out because we're in it and we're going to fight it all the way through.”

    Ericsson said he couldn’t explain why or how he had made his self-improvement.
    “I cannot point at this or this reason is why I'm doing better,” he said. “The progress is about working hard and working on all aspects as a driver.
    I worked with a mental coach, I worked with my physical coach, I worked with my engineer and the rest of the Ganassi crew to get my car more to my liking, to understand the tires better.
    It's a combination of all those things that makes a difference, I think.
    So it's hard to pinpoint something. I'm happy I'm doing it. I feel like I'm stronger and better than ever, so... I'm going to continue doing it…
    I'm really happy with that. Race day is our strength. We start on the front row, we should have a good shot at winning tomorrow.”

    • + 1
    • 16 apr 2023 - 11:33
  • Marcus op Twitter...

    "The whole session was really smooth from us."
    @Ericsson_Marcus will start P2 in the @GPLongBeach.
    _______________________________________________________

    Over Marcus: "Since his first win at @detroitgp in 2021, Marcus has had 23 Top 10s in 29 races.
    Dude is legit! Dude is an assassin.He is my pick for the Championship this year!"
    _______________________________________________________

    @Ericsson_Marcus
    P2 in qualifying today at @GPLongBeach 馃挴. And 3 @CGRTeams cars in the fast 6. Great job team! Bring on the race tomorrow 馃挭馃徎 #ME8 #INDYCAR

    • + 1
    • 16 apr 2023 - 11:43
  • Kyle Kirkwood earned his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole Saturday, grabbing the NTT P1 Award for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

    Kirkwood, from Jupiter, Florida, won the top spot for the prestigious Southern California street race with a best time of 1 minute, 6.2878 seconds on his final lap in the Firestone Fast Six in the No. 27 AutoNation Honda. Kirkwood’s previous best starting spot in his NTT INDYCAR SERIES career was fifth in March at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding, his first race with Andretti Autosport after spending his rookie season in 2022 with AJ Foyt Racing.

    SEE: Qualifying Results

    “Our car is on fire this weekend,” Kirkwood said. “We’re doing really good. I’m ecstatic. We’re just constantly chipping away at it, getting better and better, and I couldn’t be any happier than this. Third weekend with the team, and I already got a pole.”

    Marcus Ericsson, winner of the season-opening street race at St. Petersburg, will join Kirkwood on the front row after a top lap of 1:06.3253 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. That tied Ericsson’s career-best start of second, set in 2022 on the oval at World Wide Technology Raceway, and is his best start on a road or street course.

    Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, Peacock, INDYCAR LIVE and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network will cover the 30-minute warmup session starting at noon ET.

    Romain Grosjean will start third after a top lap of 1:06.5347 in the No. 28 DHL Honda, one of two Andretti Autosport cars in the top three. 2021 series champion Alex Palou will start fourth after a best lap of 1:06.5549 in the No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda.

    Six-time series champion Scott Dixon was the second Ganassi driver in the Fast Six and will start fifth after a quick lap of 1:06.5730 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Pato O’Ward, who led the first two practice sessions this weekend, was the fastest Chevy-powered driver after rounding out the Fast Six at 1:06.6039 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

    The first career pole was the highlight of Kirkwood’s young NTT INDYCAR SERIES career, which started last season after he became the first driver to win titles in successive seasons in USF2000, USF Pro 2000 and INDY NXT by Firestone. Kirkwood’s rookie year with the Foyt team was marred by incidents, and he finished a disappointing 24th in the standings.

    But a first NTT P1 Award created a mixture of vindication and validation for Kirkwood, 24.

    “It’s just a step in the right direction, in my mind,” Kirkwood said. “I knew this day would come. I didn’t know whether this day would come this late or this early. There are a lot of tough guys out here.

    “But it’s kind of solidifying myself, right? It’s like, ‘OK, he can do this now.’”

    Kirkwood earned his spot in the Firestone Fast Six on a pair of used alternate guayule Firestone tires in the Round of 12, saving his brand-new tires for the final round. That ploy paid off and was just part of the drama that engulfed the latter stages of the second round of qualifying.

    “We did our lap on the used tires, I thought, “Man, the car feels really good on Lap 2, but it’s going to be hard to get it done on Lap 1, which is what you saw right there in the Fast Six,” Kirkwood said.

    In the second round, Marcus Armstrong ran into the tire barrier in Turn 9 in the No. 11 The American Legion Honda, triggering a red flag with 53 seconds remaining. Standouts Ericsson, Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Grosjean were outside the top six when the red flag flew.

    Armstrong was unhurt but eliminated from qualifying. INDYCAR officials ruled that all 11 remaining drivers in the session had one final flying lap in the second round, creating a dramatic run to earn a spot in the Firestone Fast Six.

    Grosjean jumped to the top of the Top 12 runners with his final lap, with Ericsson slotting into fourth and Dixon sixth. Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist and Josef Newgarden were bounced from earning a spot in the Fast Six on that last lap.

    Armstrong, who will start 12th, wasn’t the only driver to make contact during qualifying. David Malukas crashed out of the first round after contact in Turn 4 in the No. 18 HMD Honda. He was unhurt and will start 25th in the 27-car field.

    • + 0
    • 16 apr 2023 - 12:51
    • Beetje lang stuk over één coureur @Max-Machine.
      Dit is een algemene pagina over de IndyCar en niet de 'Kyle Kirkwood-w eb s e i t' hoor...

      • + 1
      • 16 apr 2023 - 16:08
    • En waarom zegt @larry dit alleen over @Max en niet over zijn eigen nieuwtje over ene Marcus Ericson ?

      • + 0
      • 16 apr 2023 - 17:07

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