The young pilot Duck O’Ward, turned into the great revelation of the 2020 Indycar season in which he finished fourth in the final classification, won this Saturday the pole at the Alabama Grand Prix, first official test of 2021. Álex Palou signed a great third place in qualifying.
O’Ward led the Firestone Fast Six with a lap of 1 minute, 5.8479 seconds over the Chevrolet No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP car and will attempt tomorrow, Sunday, to achieve his first victory in the IndyCar competition during the 90-lap race to be held in the Barber Motorsports Park circuit.
O’Ward’s pole is his second in the competition after taking his first, last year in July during the second race at Road America.
“I feel like I’ve earned a place in the sport to fight for podiums and victories.”O’Ward stated. “We have been working very hard in the offseason and we are clicking,” he added. “Everyone on the team is working well together, and he knew exactly what he needed to get the time off the red tires.”
The American Alexander rossi, will start front row with O’Ward after his first lap of 1: 05.9177 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda.
Meanwhile, the Spanish Alex PalouThe 24-year-old began his time with Chip Ganassi Racing third, Ganassi’s best driver, with a time of 1: 06.0538 aboard the No. 10 SEGI.TV Honda car.
The winner of the 2018 Indianapolis 500 and the 2014 IndyCar Series, the Australian Will power, will start fourth with a record of 1: 06.1186 driving the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet car. Six-time series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, the New Zealander Scott dixon, was fifth with 1: 06.3976 aboard the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda.
The Formula One veteran, the French Romain grosjean, who made his rookie IndyCar debut in the No.51 Nurtec ODT Honda, took seventh place to celebrate his 35th birthday. His time of 1: 05.7643 in the second qualifying round was not enough for him to earn a spot in the Firestone Fast Six.
O’Ward he was even faster during the second qualifying round than during the Firestone Fast Six, setting a track record lap of 1: 05.5019 to lead his group.
A resurfacing of the 17-turn, 2.3-mile circuit (3,702 kilometers) since the series last raced on the scenic circuit in 2019, along with continued development of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES car and Firestone tires, helped several drivers break the previous record of 1: 06.6001 set by the French Sebastien Bourdais, in the 2016 classification.
Rossi and Palou heralded his good performances on the Firestone Fast Six during practice. Palou was the fastest in the first, while Rossi set the pace for the second set.