Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward in the No.5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet says that Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix of Road America will be an unknown for everyone in terms of tire deg due to repaving of the circuit.
Speaking to Paddock Eye after qualifying on the front row, O’Ward said:
I think it’s a bit of an unknown for everybody. I don’t think anybody has done a full race stint on their tires. The most, I guess, laps on a set that I’ve had is when I tested here, but the tire was not what we have this weekend.
This weekend’s is definitely different in terms of at least deg. A lot of what we learned in terms of race pace in the test probably is not going to be very helpful.
I think tomorrow warmup is going to be all about trying to learn what you want and what do you want to take care of during those stints. I think the red also is kind of a big question mark for everybody.
Speaking to us about the championship, O’Ward said:
I mean, we’ve been fighting in the top three every single weekend. There hasn’t been one that we haven’t. I see that continuing. I don’t see it changing. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and see where we stack up at the end of the year.
O’Ward went on to describe his day saying:
Front row start, we just missed pole there by a tad. I got a little wide in the Canada Corner [Turn 12]. By then, you can’t back off, so I rode through it. I think that’s where we lost it a bit.
“This is a very good starting position for us. It’s a long race. It’ll be interesting tomorrow with the Firestone Reds and Blacks because the reds just aren’t faster. That’s usually the complete opposite everywhere else we’ve ever been. I’m happy with the car, and we’re ready to flow with it tomorrow.”
Alexander Rossi in the No.7 VELO Chevrolet starts the race from fifth place and speaking following the action he commented saying:
We’ve had a great car all weekend. The test last week was good for us, obviously, as we led both practices. It was a messy qualifying for us; I got a pit speed penalty in Round 1, which really put us on the back foot because we never got a lap down on Firestone Reds. You can’t make those mistakes. That one’s on me.
“The car has been great all weekend, and it’s still our best road and street course qualifying by far this year, so we’ll take that positive. We certainly have a car that can win the race tomorrow.”
Felix Roseqvist in the No.6 onsemi Chevrolet starts the race from P16 and speaking following the action he said:
”I made a mistake on my Firestone Blacks tire run. We decided to run new blacks to start the round and in Turn 12, as I was finishing the lap, I had a wobble and basically threw away the lap. From then on, there was the red flag and it was hard to come back from that. It was on me, I made a mistake. Normally, I’m pretty good at piecing a lap together, but it didn’t work out today. I think we definitely had a car for the Firestone Fast Six. You can fight from here on this track, we’ll just have to regroup for tomorrow.”
Arrow McLaren Race Director Gavin Ward said:
Pato starting in P2, we can win from there. Alexander in P5 is not a bad place to start here, either. Who knows what’s going to happen in the race? We’ve seen a lot of people making mistakes so far this weekend. There have been a lot of incidents, so it will be interesting to see how the race plays out. Usually, it’s pretty hard to make a lot of hay here, so we’ve got a little bit of work to do with Felix. It’s pretty frustrating. In the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as competitive as it is, you have to nail everything. We didn’t quite execute, but tomorrow is another day.”