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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Palou secures maiden title as Herta beats Newgarden

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Chip Ganassi Racing’s Palou clinched the title by advantage of ending fourth as Pato O’Ward, who was his closest challenger heading into the race, retired from the after-effects of a first-lap conflict with Ed Jones.

O’Ward was changed into a spin on the primary lap by an optimistic lunge from Jones, who tried to clear James Hinchcliffe at Flip 11 – however caught the Arrow McLaren SP driver forward.

Though O’Ward was capable of collect up his automobile and proceed, the Mexican driver’s championship hopes had been ended on lap 18 as his right-rear driveshaft broke – a legacy of the Jones impression – to power him out of the reckoning.

Nevertheless, Palou’s fourth place would have been sufficient to safe the title regardless, and the Spanish driver put in a no-frills drive to gather his first ever title, avoiding injury within the lap 1 skirmish wherein he calmly touched Jones’ gearbox together with his entrance wing.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

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Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Andretti Autosport’s Herta put in a shocking cost within the opening half of the race to get on phrases with the main pack after qualifying a disappointing 14th, choosing his approach via the automobiles forward and shuffling up the order.

Following the third warning, attributable to Marcus Ericsson’s Flip 1 crash into the wall, Herta employed his soft-compound tyres to swashbuckle his well past the main duo of Newgarden and Scott Dixon, who had been each operating the tougher tyres throughout their center stints.

Herta then proceeded to place a substantial hole over Newgarden as he sought to cowl off the Penske driver’s anticipated tyre benefit after the final spherical of stops, constructing it to nearly 10 seconds at its zenith.

Following the ultimate spherical of stops, Herta’s benefit was worn out by a closing warning interval with simply over 20 laps remaining, as Conor Daly and Oliver Askew got here to blows at Flip 9.

Herta, now on the tougher tyres, needed to preserve Newgarden – who had a slim mathematical probability of successful the title if misfortune struck Palou – on the softer rubber behind him.

Regardless of Newgarden’s late-braking makes an attempt to shut up on the fountain part, Herta was capable of keep clear and bag his second consecutive victory.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Dixon claimed third place, having briefly challenged for victory initially earlier than Newgarden held him off into the primary flip, forward of Ganassi team-mate Palou – who was medical on the highway to his maiden title triumph.

Penske’s Simon Pagenaud completed in fifth having been the primary of the frontrunners to begin on the exhausting tyre, as Alexander Rossi concluded a troublesome season with the Andretti squad with sixth place.

Jack Harvey made wonderful use of an opportunistic technique to say seventh in his closing Meyer Shank Racing look, forward of AJ Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais.

Bourdais atoned for his early-race spin – which introduced out the primary warning on lap 2 – to complete eighth, pitting forward of the O’Ward yellow to get again on stage phrases with the remainder of the runners, as Takuma Sato and Will Energy accomplished the highest 10.

Scott McLaughlin completed eleventh to safe the rookie of the 12 months honours, as Romain Grosjean’s vivid begin was undone by a lightweight brush with the wall, which broke his rear suspension to finish his time with Dale Coyne Racing.

McLaren SP had been capable of piece collectively O’Ward’s automobile and despatched him again out on observe, albeit properly over 30 laps down, earlier than he referred to as it a day late on.

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