Alex Palou pipped Rinus VeeKay in one of the most dramatic Indy 500 Qualifying sessions this century; Britain’s Jack Harvey knocked team-mate Graham Rahal out of the event; watch the 107th Running of the Indy 500 on Sky Sports Action from 4pm on Sunday May 28 and Sky Sports F1 at 5:30pm
By Nigel Chiu
Last Updated: 21/05/23 11:42pm
Alex Palou became the first Spanish driver to take pole position at the Indy 500 in one of the event’s closest ever Qualifying sessions.
Palou’s four-lap average speed of 234.217mph edged out Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay effort by 0.006mph in the Fast Six shootout.
After his run, Palou thought his final lap was “too bad” as he was hanging on to stay flat out around the 2.5 miles of Indianapolis.
“It was not ideal. It was tougher than doing the four laps! I’m super proud of the work my team did,” said Palou.
“We knew we had to go aggressive but the fourth lap was very tough to do flat, but we did it.”
Felix Rosenqvist was fastest in Saturday Qualifying and the Top 12 Qualifying on Sunday, but had to settle for third on a 234.114mph as he didn’t have the outright speed of the two drivers ahead of him.
Santino Ferrucci was hoping to cause a big upset for A.J. Foyt Racing but took fourth, ahead of Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon.
Indy 500 Qualifying Result
1) Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi
2) Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing
3) Felix Rosenqvist, McLaren
4) Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt
5) Pato O’Ward, McLaren
6) Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi
7) Alexander Rossi, McLaren
8) Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi
9) Tony Kanaan, McLaren
10) Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi
11) Benjamin Pedersen, A.J. Foyt
12) Will Power, Team Penske
Ericsson to start 10th
Defending Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson won the 2022 event from eighth on the grid and will start 10th for this year’s event.
No driver has won back-to-back Indy 500s since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002, so Ericsson has history against him.
Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato narrowly missed out on the Fast Six, so will start on the third row alongside Tony Kanaan, who is competing at the Indy 500 for the last time.
Rahal out of Indy 500 in big shock
The big surprise of the day was Graham Rahal failing to qualify for next Sunday’s race after Britain’s Jack Harvey produced a stunning last-ditch run.
The four slowest drivers from Saturday – Christian Lundgaard, Sting Ray Robb, Harvey and Rahal had to go into Last Chance Qualifying. Whoever was last in Sunday’s one-hour session, would not be on the start line next Sunday.
Rahal’s 229.159mph put him third of the four drivers, with Harvey last, so the British driver tried to go fastest to bump his team-mate out.
Harvey left the pit lane for a second time with 10 minutes to go and went slower, but put on four new tyres and had one last run where he did a 229.166mph to produce one of the biggest shocks in recent Indy 500 history.
Two more practice sessions will give the 33 drivers time to set their car up for the race. Practice on Monday will be live on Sky Sports F1 at 4pm, with another practice session on Friday.
Then, the 107th Running of the Indy 500 will take place next Sunday. Coverage will begin on Sky Sports Action from 4pm, before continuing on Sky Sports F1 from 5.30pm. At 5.45pm, the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ will be under way in 2023. Get Sky Sports