Sunday September 11, 2022 by Philippe Brasseur
It was on the magnificent natural road course of Laguna Seca, in California, that the IndyCar series presented the final round of its 2022 season this Sunday. A test which was to determine who of Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson or Scott McLaughlin would win the 2022 championship title. Favorite and leader of the championship before this final race, Power (Dallara-Chevrolet / Team Penske, photo ci above with Roger Penske) finished 3rd, enough to secure a second title in the series, at the age of 41 and 8 years after the first coronation. For his part, for his last race with Chip Ganassi Racing (Dallara-Honda), Alex Palou won the event.
The race, which saw only one brief neutralization (following the stop at the edge of the track for rookie Calum Ilott, qualified 2nd and victim of a mechanical failure) and almost no incident, was spectacular, the battles being numerous within the peloton, leading to small detours through the sand bordering the circuit for several pilots. In terms of the finest manoeuvres, it is impossible to ignore the overtaking of Romain Grosjean (Dallara-Honda/Andretti Autosport) at turn 1 and those of Josef Newgarden (Team Penske), who managed to dive on the inside of the « tire -bouchon » to successfully pass 4 times.
Qualifying on pole position (beating Mario Andretti’s record of 68 pole positions in the series), Power led the first laps before seeing Alex Palou take the lead for most of the rest of the race. Apart from a small collision in the pit lane, Palou’s race was clear and he won with more than 30 seconds ahead of Josef Newgarden, who thus ended the season with the title of vice-champion.
Felix Rosenqvist finished 4th in his Team Arrow McLaren Dallara-Chevrolet, ahead of Christian Lundgaard (Team Rahal) and Scott McLaughlin, driving the 3rd Team Penske Dallara. With soft tires dying at the end of the race, Romain Grosjean finished 7th while Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi completed the Top 10.
Expected next year in Formula 1 with AlphaTauri, Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport) ranks 11th, ahead of Scott Dixon who was never able to fight at the forefront during this 17th and final round of the 2022 season.
Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Autosport) finished 15th, ahead of Jimmie Johnson (Ganassi Racing) and Simon Pagenaud (Meyer-Shank Racing). Johnson was penalized early in the race for spinning the second Canadian entered, Dalton Kellett (who finished 25th in his AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet), while Pagenaud made a magnificent start to the race, battling for the Top 6, before being pushed off the track by Ericsson. For the full ranking, click here.
As part of this program, the Indy Lights series also presented its final round of the 2022 season. Two races were on the program, won by Sting Ray Robb on Saturday and Benjamin Pedersen on Sunday. The title went to Swede Linus Lundqvist.