Rosenqvist leads McLaren charge in first Indy 500 qualifying


Arrow McLaren's Felix Rosenqvist topped Saturday's first qualifying session at the Indianapolis 500, the Swede's four-lap scorching pace edging the time set by Alexander Rossi.

It was a stellar day at the Brickyard for team papaya as all four of its entries concluded proceedings among the top 12 cars that will battle for pole on Sunday, with Tony Kanaan and Pato O'Ward completing the team's sweep and they clocked in P6 and P8 respectively.

Rosenqvist's epic four-lap average of 233.947 mph - which was his second run of the day - is the third fastest qualifying average in Indy 500 history, preceded only by Arie Luyendyk's all-time record run of 236.986 in 1996 and Scott Dixon’s pole run last year of 234.048.

"Super proud of the whole team for executing," Rosenqvist said after his all-out effort. "That last run we did was just phenomenal. Almost in a 234 average.

"That was pretty mind-blowing how we found so much speed. We weren't super happy on our first run, so we had two or three reasons to think we were going to go quicker. We kind of put them all together. Wow, what a run!

"Yeah, just a fun time to be in Arrow McLaren right now. Everything kind of resets for tomorrow, but we’re definitely feeling good right now."

"Saturday qualifying for the Indy 500 is, I think, the coolest day in motor sports. It can go either way on you," commented Arrow McLaren racing director Gavin Ward.

"Today was a good day. We wanted to give each of our cars a shot at the pole, and we've got that – all four in the top eight and the two quickest of the day.

"Tomorrow is the day that counts, though. Strong day for the team. Let's have some fun tomorrow."

Saturday's running at Indianapolis filled positions 13 to 30 on the grid. The session's twelve fastest drivers will battle it out for pole on Sunday while four drivers will fight for the final three slots in the 33-car field that will start next week's 107th running of the Indy 500.

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