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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Palou wins action-packed revived downtown race

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Palou led the vast majority of the race, however Energy used an alternate tyre technique to guide a piece of the occasion, the pair buying and selling the lead earlier than Palou stamped his authority on proceedings.

A flurry of late yellow flags threatened to trigger chaos however Palou saved his cool by way of all of them to beat Energy by simply over 1s and lengthen his championship lead. 

After one false begin, as the sector wasn’t organized past the primary 4 rows, polewinner Palou introduced the sector to inexperienced for the 100-lap occasion across the all-new 1.645-mile, nine-turn road circuit, utilizing some sections from the Formulation 1 grands prix of the Eighties.

The primary yellow flew nearly instantly, as Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing) rode over the rear of Lengthy Seashore GP winner Kyle Kirkwood on the first nook and ended his race within the tirewall. Kirkwood continued and obtained a brand new rear wing in his Andretti Autosport pit.

“I didn’t have anyplace to go, however it was my dangerous as a result of I couldn’t gradual it down sufficient,” stated Ilott. “Sorry to the workforce and to Kyle.”

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On the third try on lap seven, Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport) grabbed second from his St Petersburg nemesis Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske), working forward of Scott Dixon (Ganassi, who escaped a primary nook tag from Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden), Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi) and Energy – the latter the best-placed driver beginning on the first Firestone tyres, with the highest six all beginning on the inexperienced alternates.

By lap 10, Palou led Grosjean by 3.7s, who was adopted by McLaughlin and Dixon. Energy marched as much as fifth, adopted by Felix Rosenqvist, who additionally began his Arrow McLaren automotive on primaries, as Ericsson fell again and pitted on lap 17 to do away with his alternate tyres.

Energy handed Dixon for fourth on lap 18, overtook McLaughlin a few laps later after which outbraked Grosjean for second on lap 22.

Simply earlier than quarter distance, Palou’s lead was over 9s however Energy started to carve into that benefit. Grosjean outbraked himself at Flip 8 on lap 29, permitting McLaughlin to move as he carried out a spin-turn within the run-off and the Frenchman then dived for the pitlane.

Chief Palou and McLaughlin pitted collectively on lap 30, switching to the primaries. On hotter tyres after pitting earlier, Dixon simply managed to move McLaughlin.

Energy pitted on lap 34, switching to the alternate tyres however handing the lead again to Palou as he rejoined. Two frontrunners had been delayed when Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward rejoined with a unfastened left-rear wheel after pitting on lap 36, and his automotive needed to be retrieved by his pitcrew, and Newgarden suffered a fuel-filler challenge.

By lap 40, Palou led Energy by 5s, forward of Dixon, Rosenqvist, Alexander Rossi (McLaren), McLaughlin and Grosjean. A charging O’Ward managed to unlap himself from Palou however misjudged a transfer on Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt Racing) at Flip 9 and slapped his automotive into the wall, inflicting a yellow simply earlier than half distance.

The race briefly went inexperienced once more on lap 49, however one other warning occurred nearly instantly with Sting Ray Robb stranded at Flip 3. Bizarrely, below yellow, Graham Rahal crashed at Flip 1 and was collected by Benjamin Pedersen.

Energy acquired an enormous run on Palou, who suffered an digital glitch along with his gearbox, on the lap 57 restart and dived inside him to seize the lead at Flip 3, scampering away by nearly 3s on his softer tyres. However the pendulum swung again as Palou’s rubber got here to life because the race entered its ultimate third.

Palou duped Energy into overshooting Flip 3 on lap 66, grabbing the lead again. Dixon dived to the pits from third at this level for his ultimate cease, triggering his rivals to pit too. Palou rejoined properly away from Energy and Dixon, who had been working nostril to tail, with Rossi rejoining forward of Rosenqvist, however they switched spots at Flip 3 on the next lap.

Behind them, McLaughlin hit Grosjean as he rejoined from the pits. Then Newgarden rejoined into the midst of the that struggle, with Rossi and Grosjean elbowing their well beyond him.

With 20 laps to go, Palou was over 6s away from Energy and Dixon however the yellow flew once more as Grosjean clipped the apex wall at Flip 4 and ended his race within the wall on the exit. In higher information for Andretti, again within the body was Kirkwood, whose miraculous restoration had led to him taking sixth from Newgarden.

The subsequent restart was successfully aborted as David Malukas crashed at Flip 9, however it went inexperienced for actual with 10 laps remaining.

Energy acquired an ideal restart however couldn’t work previous Palou on the surface and was then clipped into the air by Dixon and his engine lapsed into anti-stall. Rossi grabbed his huge probability to take second, forward of Energy, whereas Rosenqvist nipped previous Dixon when the latter was shoved vast by a recovering Energy at Flip 4. However the yellow flew once more as Ferrucci and Robb clashed.

The ultimate shootout was over 5 laps, with Energy catching Rossi napping at Flip 4 to retake second as Palou jumped clear once more. Rossi and Rosenqvist then swapped positions however the McLarens someway saved Dixon at bay.

Palou beat Energy by 1.1843s on the flag. Rosenqvist made a forceful transfer stick on Rossi for third with two laps to go, and this time Dixon additionally acquired forward of Rossi for fourth.

Kirkwood completed an unlikely sixth, forward of McLaughlin, Marcus Armstrong (Ganassi), Ericsson and Newgarden.

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