Indy 500, Qualifiers 1 – VeeKay is close to the speed record, Grosjean in great shape

It’s not just in Formula 1 that the Netherlands like to go fast. In IndyCar too, there is something to be proud of! Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing) in an all-orange livery to the glory of his native country, blew away the spectators present for the first day of qualifying for the 2022 Indianapolis 500 Miles this Saturday, May 21.

The 21-year-old driver achieved an average speed of 233,655 miles (or 376,031 km/h) over four flying laps, which had never been observed for 26 years on the Brickyard! In 1996, Buick V6 engines boosted to around 1,000 horsepower allowed Arie Luyendyk (future double winner) and Scott Brayton (poleman who died in an accident in free practice a few days later) to reach average speeds of 236.986 mils (381.39 km/h) and 233.718 miles (376.13 km/h).

Only two rookies have won a place for the Fast 12, the second phase of the qualifications which will be held on Sunday May 22 from 10 p.m. metropolitan France time. Jimmie Johnson (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Romain Grosjean (Andretti) were smiling for the big days!

The American, to whom the media across the Atlantic devote a cult because of his seven titles in Nascar, recorded the sixth best average speed. As for the Frenchman, he was simply the best representative of the prestigious Andretti team (9th) while his teammates are much more experienced in Indy.

Indeed, this session will have been surprising for some favourites. At Penske, only Will Power saved his head (11th). After a first break linked to a short downpour, Scott McLaughlin, then credited with the 15th time, tried his luck again, even if it meant canceling his previous attempt. It was a bitter failure, since the new average speed pushed him back to 26th place! Josef Newgarden was going to follow the same path but the exit of the yellow flag to announce the return of the rain avoided a probable disaster.

The ninth row of the starting grid is amazing. In addition to Scott McLaughlin, there will be the winner of the recent Indianapolis Grand Prix Colton Herta as well as the co-record holder of victories in the Indy 500, Hélio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing). Other former winners, Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing) and Juan Pablo Montoya (Arrow McLaren SP) will start 16th and 30th respectively.

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Indy 500 2022 – Qualifying Results Saturday:

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