Record pole position for Scott Dixon for the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 (+ videos)

Monday May 24, 2021 by Julie Bouchard

The 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 miles will take place this Sunday, May 30. Qualifying took place last weekend to determine the starting order. 35 drivers were in contention for 33 places on the grid, or eleven rows of three cars as is the tradition in Indianapolis.

Best time in the final session bringing together the 9 fastest in the regular session, New Zealander Scott Dixon took pole position for the fourth time in his career. It is also the fastest pole in Indy 500 history with an average speed over four laps of 231.685 miles per hour.

Dixon, six-time champion and defending champion of the IndyCar series, had already been the fastest on the first day of qualifying on Saturday, before doing it again with the fastest times in the session called Fast 9 Shootout on Sunday at the controls of his Dallara- Honda of Chip Ganassi Racing. Winner of the 500 miles in 2008, Dixon also won poles in 2008, 2015 and 2017. With this 4th pole position, he equalizes the performances of Rex Mays, AJ Foyt and Hélio Castroneves in the history of the legendary American race.

Dixon, 40, will be joined on the first starting line by the two youngest drivers in the peloton to compete in this 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500, Sunday May 30th. Colton Herta, 21, will start second with his Dallara-Honda from Andretti Autosport, and Rinus VeeKay, 20, qualified third with his Dallara-Chevrolet from Ed Carpenter Racing. VeeKay, winner 9 days ago of his first career Indycar race, will be the youngest front row qualifier in more than a century of race history (created in 1911).

The second row will be composed of Ed Carpenter, driver and owner of the team of the same name and teammate of VeeKay, Tony Kanaan, winner of the 500 miles in 2013 and who takes on the ovals the place usually reserved for Jimmie Johnson within of Chip Ganassi Racing this season, and Alex Palou, sixth with the third of the 4 cars entered by Chip Ganassi Racing.

Two former winners will be on the third row. Winner in 2014, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), will start seventh. He will have by his side Hélio Castroneves, three times winner and who starts with a Dallara-Honda of Meyer-Shank Racing. The Swede Marcus Ericsson will complete this third row with the 4th Dallara of Chip Ganassi, who thus sees his 4 drivers qualified in the Top 9.

Three teams monopolized this Top 9. Besides Ganassi with Dixon, Kanaan, Palou and Ericsson, Andretti Autosport is represented by Herta and Hunter-Reay, and Ed Carpenter Racing by VeeKay and Carpenter.

The day of Saturday securing places 10 to 30, the final session yesterday concerned the 5 drivers who found themselves competing for their place on the last row. On the 2.5 mile oval the tension was obviously extreme especially as, like two years ago with Fernando Alonso (who had been eliminated because his McLaren team Dallara was not competitive enough) , a star driver, champion of the series, was among them: Will Power, one of the pilots of Team Penske and winner of the 500 miles in 2018! Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, RC Enerson and the Swiss Simona De Silvestro, the only female driver registered for this 2021 edition and at the controls of a Dallara-Chevrolet entered by Paretta Autosport but prepared by Team Penske, competed for 3 places. remaining.

In the end, Karam will start 31st, Power 32nd and De Silvestro 33rd. The latter was back in the car after three years of absence and, like all cars prepared by Team Penske, it struggled but it certainly deserves its place on the grid. As for Power, he scared himself grazing the wall at the exit of Turn 2 on his last attempt but held on in what he called « the most nervous day of my life. » career « .

Charlie Kimball (Dallara-Chevrolet from AJ Foyt Racing) and rookie RC Enerson (Dallara-Chevrolet from the new Top Gun Racing team) are therefore the two unqualified drivers.

Two Canadians will be at the start this Sunday, in front of 135,000 spectators admitted to the stands. They are James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport), qualified 16th, and rookie Dalton Kellett (AJ Foyt Racing), 30th. For the complete starting grid, click here. And also see the video summaries of the two qualifying days below.

Laisser un commentaire