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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Palou relishes maiden hybrid pole after “tight” IndyCar qualifying battle

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Alex Palou’s adaptability to IndyCar’s hybrid period was on show Saturday at Mid-Ohio after main all three rounds of knockout qualifying and claiming pole by 0.0024s over Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward.

The 13-turn, 2.258-mile pure terrain highway course has been this weekend’s playground for Palou, who earned his second consecutive pole and third over the past six races this season.

“Yeah, it was tight,” mentioned Palou, driver of the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. “It was tight all qualifying.

“Fortuitously, we had a very quick automotive since follow one. Q1 was good, Q2, as effectively. We made it via, which is the goal.

“Then we noticed that Pato did just one push lap on the alternate (tyres) within the Quick 12, and we knew it was going to be too shut within the Quick Six. We needed to attempt to gamble a little bit bit and made a number of adjustments for Quick Six to attempt to get a little bit bit, and it labored.

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“Yeah, tremendous comfortable to start out on the entrance row tomorrow, and (the) finest strategy to kick off the hybrid period.”

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, NTT P1 Award, Pole, celebration

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The hybrid period for North America’s premier open-wheel championship begins on the midpoint of the season. In collaboration with Chevrolet and Honda, the first-of-its-kind hybrid pairs with the present 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 inner combustion engine with supercapacitor hybrid expertise.

An vitality storage system (ESS) made up of 20 supercapacitors is joined along with a low-voltage (48V) motor generator unit (MGU), with each becoming into the bellhousing between the engine and the gearbox.

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This weekend’s spherical at Mid-Ohio has 310 kilojoules per lap accessible and paired with the standard push-to-pass on highway and avenue circuits (200 seconds at a most of 20 seconds per push at Mid-Ohio). Collectively, there’s over 800 horsepower accessible at instances.

And studying this new expertise has been a problem for everybody, together with Palou, who admittedly had a problem in Flip 4 on a number of events within the second follow that wanted correcting earlier than qualifying.

“Yeah, I might say on braking it (the steadiness of the automotive) adjustments a little bit bit, and likewise we now have a little bit bit extra weight than we used to,” mentioned Palou, noting the extra 30kg the hybrid unit provides.

“However I simply went off as a result of I assumed that there was extra grip on the alternates and I used to be simply pushing arduous. I went deep a little bit bit solely with two wheels after which I made a decision to go even deeper with (Flip) 4.

“I might say it was extra a driver mistake than the automotive steadiness being totally different or extra powerful there.”

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, NTT P1 Award, Pole, celebration

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, NTT P1 Award, Pole, celebration

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Though issues seem seamless for Palou, the reigning and two-time sequence champion, shared how each he and O’Ward proceed to maximise their studying of the hybrid, even with the small print coming all the way down to the thousandths of a second.

“Yeah, I am fairly positive if we had been in a position to examine our knowledge, like one hundred pc of it, we might see variations in methods to get half a tenth right here, half a tenth there,” Palou mentioned.

“Not from driving, simply from the pure regen and deployment. I am positive we’re… I do not know if 70% or 90% there, however I am undecided we’re getting 100% of it.

“Yeah, it is attention-grabbing. It is plenty of work, however on the identical time, you do not need to overlook in regards to the principal stuff.

“You can not focus a lot in regards to the proportion of battery and the place can we recharge and deploy after which overlook in regards to the steadiness being actually dangerous and shedding three and a half tenths due to steadiness.”

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