INDIANAPOLIS – Christian Lundgaard has won the pole for Saturday afternoon’s GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver turned a lap of 1:09.3321 on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course for his first career pole in the IndyCar Series.
“I can finally call this home, I think,” Lundgaard joked. “It feels amazing. Waking up this morning, I knew we were going to have a chance to get into the Fast Six, because we’ve done that pretty much every time. I hoped it was going to happen and now I can sit here and it’s a reality.”
Arrow McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist will start second with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou third.
Jack Harvey, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Kirkwood round out the Fast Six.
Two of IndyCar’s power teams, Team Penske and Andretti had a miserable qualifying session. Both teams only had one car advance out of the first round. Andretti’s Kirkwood was the only driver to advance to the final round of qualifying.
Penske’s Josef Newgarden had to slow down after Benjamin Pederson spun in group one of the first round, while his teammate Scott McLaughlin failed to make it out of group two. Andretti’s Colton Herta and Romain Grosjean, race favorites, also couldn’t advance out of group two.
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson missed out on the Fast Six by three-one hundredths of a second. He will start seventh on Saturday.
Lundgaard’s best result in the IndyCar Series came last year on the IMS road course when he finished second in the Gallagher Grand Prix on Brickyard Weekend.
“My podium here last year was a big relief for me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “I knew my ability to be able to finish on the podium. I know what I’m capable of, but delivering it to the team is what meant the most to me and this too. Everyone worked so hard.
“We built a new facility. It hasn’t paid off until now, so we have to keep digging deep.”
The green flag will fly on the 85-lap race at 3:45 on Saturday afternoon.