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Palou beats Herta after Corkscrew go

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Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou fended off Colton Herta on a late restart to assert victory in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca.

The Spaniard, who began on pole, efficiently defended the highest spot after a restart with 4 laps to go, profitable by 1.978s on the two.238-mile, 11-turn street course over Herta’s No. 26 Andretti International Honda.

It’s the second win of the season for Palou, who beforehand gained on the Indianapolis Highway Course in Could. 

“It was a chaotic race,” Palou stated. “The technique was a bit dangerous for the place we have been in, however we knew we had the tempo and simply needed to execute.

“It was enjoyable, an excessive amount of intense on the finish with these restart, however total an incredible win.”

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Becoming a member of Palou and Herta on the rostrum was Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi in third.

Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Romain Grosjean and Andretti International’s Kyle Kirkwood completed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Race report

Palou led the sector to the inexperienced flag but it surely was entrance row-mate Kirkwood who drove it deep into the nook and hung powerful on the surface of Flip 2, which arrange a switchback to finish the go on the within getting into Flip 3 and take the race lead.

Whereas a lot of the sector bought via the opening lap cleanly, Will Power’s powerful weekend of off-track adventures continued; he went off in Flip 4 whereas battling AJ Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci and Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Christian Rasmussen, together with his No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet dropping 10 spots from his beginning place of fifteenth consequently.

Regardless of having the lead, Kirkwood couldn’t break free from Palou, with the hole staying between 0.2-0.6s till he pitted on lap 26 and switched from the more durable main tyres to a brand new set of softer alternates.

Palou opted to pit the following lap however remained on the first compound. Whereas Palou was diving to pit lane, Christian Lundgaard endured an off-track second in Flip 9, hitting signage that caught on the entrance wing of his No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda consequently.

When the primary spherical of pit stops cycled out, it was Rossi benefiting from an undercut of pitting on lap 24 and leaping from fourth into the lead. By lap 32, the California native, working on new alternates, held a 5.2s lead over Kirkwood.

Via the preliminary cycle of pitstops, the overcut damage Palou, who got here out fourth behind Rossi, Kirkwood and Herta. Moreover, Crew Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who was urgent to make up for a lowly qualifying effort of 14th, was handed a drive-through penalty by Race Management for improper exit, having gone off at pit out after his cease on lap 26.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Luca Ghiotto then went off at Flip 4 and pounded the tire barrier, bringing out the primary warning on lap 35.

With the window for the following pit cease opened up throughout the warning, Rossi and half of the sector opted for service as Palou stayed out and assumed the race lead.

Ganassi’s Scott Dixon caught the kerbing coming to pitlane and hit the surface pitwall – calmly damaging his entrance wing – whereas additionally getting tagged calmly from behind by Penske’s Scott McLaughlin. Of the 13 drivers that pitted, Herta got here out forward whereas additionally swapping to the primaries, forward of Rossi on used alternates and Kirkwood on primaries.

Palou led the sector to the inexperienced flag on lap 40, with second-place man Pato O’Ward underneath hearth from the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet of Romain Grosjean.

In an analogous transfer to Kirkwood at first, Grosjean drove deep on the surface of O’Ward into Flip 2 and took the runner-up spot with the within go going into Flip 3.

A second warning got here out moments later after Arrow McLaren’s newly-signed rookie Nolan Siegel spun and stalled in Flip 2.

The race resumed on lap 43, with Palou holding Grosjean at bay into Flip 2 earlier than rapidly extending a spot of over 1.2s.

Palou stretched the lead out to a 3.8s lead over Grosjean by lap 48, whereas O’Ward opted to pit and handed third over to Meyer Shank Racing’s David Malukas, who pitted the following lap.

Grosjean pitted from second on lap 55, swapping from primaries to recent alternates. Palou dove in for service the next lap and likewise took recent alternate tyres, which handed the result in Herta.

Herta led Rossi, with Palou popping out third forward of Kirkwood in fourth after 56 laps, with all inside 4.7s of one another. McLaughlin ran fifth, adopted by Energy and Dixon.

The runner-up spot modified palms on lap 62 after Palou made a go on the within of Rossi in Flip 2, with Palou shifting to inside 0.3s of Herta moments later.

Palou hounded Herta for the lead earlier than making an inside go for the race lead into the Corkscrew on lap 64. The lead for Palou widened to 3s over the following two laps.

Kirkwood and Dixon dove to pitlane on lap 67, choosing the undercut. Kirkwood opted for primaries, whereas the six-time IndyCar Collection champion Dixon took used alternates.

Herta fell to 6s behind Palou earlier than diving to pit lane on lap 68, switching to primaries, with Rossi additionally pitting and popping out behind his former team-mate with used alternates.

Palou was known as to pit lane on lap 71 by strategist Barry Wanser and elected to swap from the alternates to used primaries. Grosjean, who elevated to second within the pit cycle, dove to pitlane behind Palou and took primaries.

Lundgaard gave a hip verify to Marcus Armstrong in Flip 4, which despatched him off beam. Armstrong’s try to put it aside introduced him again throughout the observe and practically led to an enormous collision with Graham Rahal. Happily, the incident solely resulted within the New Zealander stalled on the within of nook and introduced out the yellow flag.

Newgarden, who was working second attempting to remain out and overcome the early penalty, pitted, after which Race Management waved the yellow flag, which allowed the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion to return in second with new primaries.

A restart with 17 laps left noticed Palou lead Newgarden, Herta, Rossi and Grosjean as the highest 5.

The restart gave approach to chaos as Penske team-mates McLaughlin and Energy, battling for sixth, collided. McLaughlin spun, whereas Energy pale right down to ninth. McLaughlin pitted and returned, however the injury was too extreme to proceed.

Moments later, Lundgaard blew via the Corkscrew and caught some air, receiving a penalty for observe limits and falling to twenty second. In the meantime, Newgarden dropped wheels in Flip 6 and fell from second to fifth.

A warning returned on lap 83 after Dale Coyne Racing’s Jack Harvey parked it on the entrance straight close to the pit exit with smoke billowing from his Honda engine.

Palou led Herta to the inexperienced flag restart with 10 laps to go, the Spaniard making a poor exit from Flip 11 however clinging to his lead.

Three laps later noticed one other yellow as Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Kyffin Simpson spun out of Flip 5 whereas working thirteenth, which left Rahal with nowhere to go as he pounded the facet of Simpson’s automotive.

The race resumed with 4 laps to go as Palou made a clear getaway this time from Herta, who was underneath hearth momentarily from Rossi.

Newgarden discovered bother once more at Flip 6, spinning from fifth and practically stalling earlier than gathering it again up and protecting the race underneath inexperienced flag situations.

Palou held serve to the end, with Herta and Rossi accumulating the opposite podium spots.


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