Rosenqvist tops first day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying
May 21, 2023
Sweden's Felix Rosenqvist led a blistering day of qualifying for the 107th Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, posting the third-fastest four-lap qualifying run in history.
Rosenqvist's second run of the day in his Arrow McLaren Chevrolet saw him average 233.947 mph (376.5 Km/h).
Only Arie Luyendyk's all-time record run of 236.986 in 1996 and Scott Dixon's pole run of 234.048 last year were faster.
The Swede's first attempt had clocked in at 233.099 mph.
"Super proud of the whole team for executing," Rosenqvist said. "That last run we did was just phenomenal. Almost in a 234 average. That was pretty mind-blowing how we found so much speed. We weren't super happy on our first run, so we had two or three reasons to think we were going to go quicker.
"We kind of put them all together. Wow, what a run. Everything kind of resets for tomorrow, but we’re definitely feeling good right now."
The impressive effort didn't bag pole position for the 107th edition of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. The 12 fastest from Saturday will battle in Sunday's "Fast 12" before six advance to a final showdown for pole position.
Rosenqvist's teammate Alexander Rossi was second at 233.528 and 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou was third-fastest at 233.398 for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Ed Carpenter Racing's Rinus VeeKay was fourth-fastest at 233.395 and six-time IndyCar champ Dixon fifth at 233.375 for Ganassi.
Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner making his final IndyCar start in this year's race, was sixth quickest.
Arrow McLaren put all four of its cars in the top eight while Chip Ganassi put four in the top 10.
Meanwhile, Britain's Katherine Legge made a bit of history for Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing. She turned the fastest single qualifying lap and four-lap qualifying average by a female driver in Indy 500 history.
Her fastest lap of 231.627 broke the record of 230.201 set by Simona de Silvestro in 2021, and her four-lap average of 231.070 eclipsed the mark of 229.439 set by Sarah Fisher in 2002.
Legge secured the final locked-in starting position of the day -- 30th.
With the 13th through 30th spots on the grid decided, not only will the pole contenders battle it out on Sunday, Saturday's four slowest will fight for the final three spots on the grid.