Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward in the No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and the returning Oliver Askew in the No.7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet had a great final qualifying session of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season ending Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg which takes place on Sunday.
Pato O’Ward will start the race from sixth place after setting a qualifying time of 01:01.7725s having made it into the Firestone Fast Six and speaking following the action he commented saying:
The practice wasn’t great for us but we made our way back to the front part of the field during qualifying. The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet is starting on the third row so we can try and win the race from there. It’s going to be tough to pass and pit stop windows aren’t going to be as big as they used to be, because the race is ten laps shorter. I think if we have a good, consistent race and good pit stops, we should be in contention in the end.
Oliver Askew has been out of an IndyCar for just over a month however that nothing to phase the rookie who will start Sunday’s race from tenth place on the grid following a time of 01:00.9772s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
I haven’t been in an Indy car in a bit over a month, so I was a bit rusty. But it was great to be back here at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Big shoutout to everyone at INDYCAR and Green Savoree for making this event happen. To have it as a season finale is pretty incredible. It’s a home race for me, and I’ll have some family out here tomorrow that I hope to put on a good show for them and Arrow McLaren SP in my final race.
Arrow McLaren SP Managing Director of Competition Taylor Kiel commented on the qualifying session saying:
It was a good day for Arrow McLaren SP. First of all, getting Oliver back in the car was big for us and big for him. I’m really happy that he was able to get back in the car for his home race. In terms of performance, it was really tight out there. Everybody is quick. We are just trying to get up to the front end. Pato did a great job to get into the Firestone Racing Fast Six but made a mistake in Turn 1 on his flying lap. Those things happen and we will start P6. Oliver was really close to getting out of Round Two but didn’t quite get there. All in all, good day for us and we will look to race forward.
McLaren Racing Sporting Director Gil de Ferran commented saying:
Starting with Oliver, this was his second best qualifying of the season, so this has been a really positive comeback weekend so far for him. On Pato’s side, it was great to get into the fast six, it demonstrates well how competitive he has been. We rolled the dice and he tried hard to get into the front row, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Looking at the times, you can see how competitive the IndyCar field is. Regardless, both guys are in good starting positions to be able to run a competitive race. Execute is the word! Looking forward to the usual exciting show St Pete provides in front of local loyal fans!