Romain Grosjean takes first INDYCAR SERIES pole
Jack Harvey qualifies third for Honda and Meyer Shank Racing
Alex Palou qualifies fourth as Honda drivers claim three of the top four starting positions
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 14, 2021) – Romain Grojean captured the pole today in qualifying on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Honda drivers claimed three of the top four starting positions for Saturday’s GRM Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
A veteran for Formula One competition but in his rookie NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, Grosjean edged two-time series champion Josef Newgarden in a thrilling final qualifying round on the 2.439-mile IMS road circuit. It also was the first pole of the season for the Dale Coyne with RWR team. At the end of three “knockout” qualifying rounds, Honda drivers claimed three of the top four starting spots for Saturday’s 85-lap race, with Jack Harvey qualifying third for Meyer Shank Racing and Alex Palou – already a winner this year at the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama – qualifying fourth for Chip Ganassi Racing.
GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis Qualifying Results
1st Romain Grosjean-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
3rd Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
4th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
8th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
9th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
11th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
14th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
15th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
16th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
17th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
19th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
22nd James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
23rd Jimmie Johnson-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Romain Groshean (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda) Pole Qualifier, 1st NTT INDYCAR SERIES career pole: “We were struggling a bit earlier today, but my engineer [Olivier Boisson] made some really good changes over the [practice session] runs. Then we put on the Reds [softer compound, alternate Firestone tires on], and the car felt so good, amazing. Those last few laps [of qualifying] each time, I was ‘on it’. What a day for us!”
Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing Honda) Qualified Third: “We’re always excited to come to the Indianapolis road course, but what’s allowed this weekend to go well for us so far is really good preparation and focus from everyone on the Meyer Shank Racing/Honda team. That was an incredible lap by Romain [Grosjean, to claim pole], but that’s what we love about the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. We have a small team like Dale Coyne with RWR taking the pole, and our still relatively new team starting third. We all can come and compete [on equal terms]. I’m not sure how many other series in the world have that. We’re really close, and I hope that positivity can help drive us forward tomorrow.”
Honda drivers have now claimed the pole position for two of the three road and street course races held this season. In addition to Grosjean’s qualifying run today, Colton Herta claimed the pole for Honda and Andretti Autosport at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in April.
The “Month of May” begins this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the GMR Grand Prix. Held on the IMS infield road course, Saturday’s 85-lap race will kick off three weeks of on-track activities leading up to the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.
Honda continues to hold the early-season lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, with three victories in the first four races this season. After four of 16 races, Honda holds a 14-point advantage (332-318) over rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.