Felix Rosenqvist returned to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES podium with a commanding drive to second place in the Grand Prix of Portland, splitting the championship top two.
After a series of frustrating races recently, Rosenqvist finally enjoyed a straightforward Sunday in the penultimate round of the season, leading home the Arrow McLaren effort at Portland International Raceway.
Rosenqvist’s drive saw him split Chip Ganassi Racing’s title-contending duo Alex Palou and Scott Dixon, as the trio swept clear from the rest of the field.
Palou eventually took victory, clinching the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES title in the process, with Rosenqvist coming home 5.4s behind.
The result marks Rosenqvist’s second podium of the season, returning to the rostrum for the first time since the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in June.
“I’m thrilled to be back on the podium and prove what we can do when things go our way,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “The #6 Arrow McLaren car was on rails, we had a good strategy, and we executed the race the way we wanted. I tried to put pressure on Alex (Palou) in the final stint, but he was flying today – congratulations to him on winning the race and the title.”
Although Rosenqvist finally strung together a largely trouble-free race, the journey to the podium was not without drama as the Swede had to overcome a mechanical issue in qualifying that derailed a possible pole position assault.
Topping the opening group stages of Saturday’s grid-decider with a commanding marker, Rosenqvist laid down a lap of 57.896s that would stand as the outright fastest of the entire weekend (and four tenths quicker than the eventual pole position time).
Disappointingly, a technical failure ultimately forced Rosenqvist to park up in the pits in the subsequent Top 12 segment, leaving him 11th on the grid for the race on Sunday.
Once the green flag flew, however, Rosenqvist wasted no time battling back, converting his pace to his sixth career INDYCAR podium. He also scored a bonus point for briefly leading the race.
“The last couple of races have been frustrating, so this is a little bit of a reset for us,” Felix Rosenqvist concludes. “We went in our own direction on the #6 car this weekend, following our gut feeling. I’m super proud of everyone on the crew and at Arrow McLaren.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES concludes with the final round of the season next weekend (September 8-10) at Laguna Seca, California.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 16
Grand Prix of Portland
Portland International Raceway (USA)
1: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 110 laps
2: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren, +5.435s
3: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, +8.066s
4: Pato O’Ward (MEX), Arrow McLaren, +19.057s
5: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, +21.083s
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 16/17 races
1: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 618 p.
2: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, 527 p.
3: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 470 p.
4: Pato O’Ward (MEX), Arrow McLaren, 461 p.
5: Scott McLaughlin (NZL), Penske, 448 p.
12: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren, 311 p.