Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA
Race report
IndyCar Detroit

IndyCar Detroit: Palou wins action-packed revived downtown race

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou won the Detroit Grand Prix, the seventh round of the IndyCar Series, after a fierce duel with Team Penske’s Will Power.

Palou led the majority of the race, but Power used an alternate strategy to lead a chunk of the event, the pair trading the lead before Palou stamped his authority on proceedings.

A flurry of late yellow flags threatened to cause chaos but Palou kept his cool through all of them to beat Power by just over 1s and extend his points lead. 

After one false start, as the field wasn’t arranged beyond the first four rows, polewinner Palou brought the field to green for the 100-lap event around the all-new 1.645-mile, nine-turn street circuit, using some sections from the Formula 1 grands prix of the 1980s.

The first yellow flew almost immediately, as Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing) rode over the rear of Long Beach GP winner Kyle Kirkwood at the first corner and ended his race in the tirewall. Kirkwood continued and received a new rear wing in his Andretti Autosport pit.

“I didn’t have anywhere to go, but it was my bad because I couldn’t slow it down enough,” said Ilott. “Sorry to the team and to Kyle.”

At the third attempt on lap seven, Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport) grabbed second from his St Petersburg nemesis Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske), running ahead of Scott Dixon (Ganassi, who escaped a first corner tag from Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden), Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi) and Power – the latter the best-placed driver starting on the primary Firestone tires, with the top six all starting on the green alternates.

By lap 10, Palou led Grosjean by 3.7s, who was followed by McLaughlin and Dixon. Power marched up to fifth, followed by Felix Rosenqvist, who also started his Arrow McLaren car on primaries, as Ericsson fell back and pitted on lap 17 to get rid of his alternate tires.

Power passed Dixon for fourth on lap 18, overtook McLaughlin a couple of laps later and then outbraked Grosjean for second on lap 22.

Just before quarter distance, Palou’s lead was over 9s but Power began to carve into that advantage. Grosjean outbraked himself at Turn 8 on lap 29, allowing McLaughlin to pass as he performed a spin-turn in the run-off and the Frenchman then dived for the pitlane.

Leader Palou and McLaughlin pitted together on lap 30, switching to the primaries. On hotter tires after pitting earlier, Dixon just managed to pass McLaughlin.

Power pitted on lap 34, switching to the alternate tires but handing the lead back to Palou as he rejoined. Two frontrunners were delayed when Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward rejoined with a loose left-rear wheel after pitting on lap 36, and his car had to be retrieved by his pitcrew, and Newgarden suffered a fuel-filler issue.

By lap 40, Palou led Power by 5s, ahead of Dixon, Rosenqvist, Alexander Rossi (McLaren), McLaughlin and Grosjean. A charging O’Ward managed to unlap himself from Palou but misjudged a move on Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt Racing) at Turn 9 and slapped his car into the wall, causing a yellow just before half distance.

The race briefly went green again on lap 49, but another caution occurred almost immediately with Sting Ray Robb stranded at Turn 3. Bizarrely, under yellow, Graham Rahal crashed at Turn 1 and was collected by Benjamin Pedersen.

Power got a huge run on Palou, who suffered an electronic glitch with his gearbox, at the lap 57 restart and dived inside him to grab the lead at Turn 3, scampering away by almost 3s on his softer tires. But the pendulum swung back as Palou’s rubber came to life as the race entered its final third.

Palou duped Power into overshooting Turn 3 on lap 66, grabbing the lead back. Dixon dived to the pits from third at this point for his final stop, triggering his rivals to pit too. Palou rejoined well clear of Power and Dixon, who were running nose to tail, with Rossi rejoining ahead of Rosenqvist, but they switched spots at Turn 3 on the following lap.

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

With 20 laps to go, Palou was over 6s clear of Power and Dixon but the yellow flew again as Grosjean clipped the apex wall at Turn 4 and ended his race in the wall on the exit. In better news for Andretti, back in the frame was Kirkwood, whose miraculous recovery had led to him taking sixth from Newgarden.

The next restart was effectively aborted as David Malukas crashed at Turn 9, but it went green for real with 10 laps remaining.

Power got a great restart but couldn’t work past Palou on the outside and was then clipped into the air by Dixon and his engine lapsed into anti-stall. Rossi grabbed his big chance to take second, ahead of Power, while Rosenqvist nipped past Dixon when the latter was shoved wide by a recovering Power at Turn 4. But the yellow flew again as Ferrucci and Robb clashed.

The final shootout was over five laps, with Power catching Rossi napping at Turn 4 to retake second as Palou jumped clear again. Rossi and Rosenqvist then swapped positions but the McLarens somehow kept Dixon at bay.

Palou beat Power by 1.1843s at the flag. Rosenqvist made the move stick on Rossi for third with two laps to go, and this time Dixon also got ahead of Rossi for fourth.

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

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 100 2:01'58.1171
2 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 100 2:01'59.3014 1.1843
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Arrow McLaren 100 2:02'04.0686 5.9515
4 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 100 2:02'05.6853 7.5682
5 United States Alexander Rossi
Arrow McLaren 100 2:02'08.1012 9.9841
6 United States Kyle Kirkwood
United States Andretti Autosport 100 2:02'08.6597 10.5426
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 100 2:02'09.0521 10.9350
8 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 100 2:02'09.7963 11.6792
9 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 100 2:02'11.1352 13.0181
10 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 100 2:02'12.1394 14.0223
11 United States Colton Herta
United States Andretti Autosport 100 2:02'15.7777 17.6606
12 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
United States Andretti Autosport 100 2:02'17.5492 19.4321
13 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Meyer Shank Racing 100 2:02'17.7657 19.6486
14 Argentina Agustin Canapino
United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 100 2:02'19.5390 21.4219
15 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 100 2:02'19.8919 21.7748
16 Denmark Christian Lundgaard
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 100 2:02'20.2331 22.1160
17 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 100 2:02'21.1881 23.0710
18 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 100 2:02'21.9364 23.8193
19 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 100 2:02'22.7905 24.6734
20 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 97 2:02'23.7748 3 Laps
21 United States Santino Ferrucci
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 97 2:02'24.3877 3 Laps
22 Ray Robb
United States Dale Coyne Racing 97 2:02'26.0292 3 Laps
23 United States David Malukas
United States Dale Coyne Racing 85 1:42'18.2085 15 Laps
24 France Romain Grosjean
United States Andretti Autosport 80 1:34'58.8148 20 Laps
25 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 50 59'50.2354 50 Laps
26 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Arrow McLaren 41 53'33.3865 59 Laps
27 United Kingdom Callum Ilott
United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 1 1'42.4526 99 Laps

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article IndyCar Detroit: Start times, how to watch on TV, entry list
Next article Detroit street track “really came alive” during IndyCar race

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA