Photo: James Black/Penske Entertainment

Strong GMR Grand Prix Result For McLaren

By Phillip Schmitz, Staff Writer

Alex Palou and his No. 10 Be The One Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing might have been the strongest car in the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis, taking over as the championship leader, but Arrow McLaren came away as perhaps the strongest team in the race.

Pato O’Ward’s No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet finished second behind Palou, with his teammate Alexander Rossi finishing in third in the No. 7 Velo McLaren Chevrolet to give the team two spots on the podium. The organization’s third entry, the No. 6 Chevrolet piloted by Felix Rosenqvist, finished in fifth place.

The runner-up result for O’Ward leaves him second in the championship standings, trailing Palou by just 6 points.

“Super stoked for the team,” O’Ward said. “We put three cars in the top five. Fricking hard to do in this series with how competitive it is. Just stoked for everybody in the organization, for our 5 crew.

“We made our strategy really work, right? I just think today Palou and Ganassi were very, very strong, so we couldn’t quite get them there in the end.

“Historically this hasn’t been the best of tracks for us. So this is awesome to see just the massive step forward we’ve taken here in race pace. Super happy to see that.

“Rolling with some great momentum into our Super Bowl.”

After switching from Andretti Autosport to Arrow McLaren during the offseason, Rossi scored his first podium finish for his new team. It wasn’t a question of if the American would score a podium finish, just a matter of when. 

“Like Pato said, to get three cars in the top five is near on impossible these days,” Rossi said. “Arrow McLaren has done a phenomenal job all year. You can’t talk about how challenging it is to add a car in the off-season. They’ve done it with relative apparent ease. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes.

“Really proud to get the first podium for the team, the first one as part of Team Chevy. It was a good day. We’ve had a really strong pace on Sundays, we just haven’t gotten the results that we feel like we deserve. We’re missing a little bit on Saturdays.

“The pieces are coming together. I’ve got an awesome team, awesome teammates around me.”

To top that off was the No. 6 NTT Data McLaren Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist, who milked his fuel mileage to the end of the race, running dry shortly after the checkered flag flew.

As for the race itself, Rosenqvist had mixed feelings.

“Personally, I wasn’t super pleased with how the race went,” Rosenqvist said. “It could have been better, but hey, it’s a P5. After starting P2, it’s not terrible, but I feel like this track is still a bit of a mystery for me, but we’ll keep pushing. In general, big smiles into the 500.”

While a race win has eluded Arrow McLaren to start this season, they’ll look to take their strong result in the GMR Grand Prix into the rest of the Month of May, where they hope to take their first win of the season in the Indianapolis 500.

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