With two laps to go at Road America, Pato O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist had a brilliant scrap for the lead with just two laps to go
The second of this weekend’s IndyCar races at the superb Road America circuit had a dramatic finish as Rosenqvist reeled in O’Ward in the closing stages.
Both drivers are in their second seasons of IndyCar and neither had yet won a race, but the pair of them were untouchable on Sunday. O’Ward had taken pole for McLaren Arrow SP and lead almost the entire race, but Rosenqvist had the edge on race pace. He’d been making inroads into O’Ward in the middle of the race before a slow pit stop undid his hard work on track.
Rosenqvist knuckled down and in the closing stages, a combination of traffic for O’Ward and a tyre and fuel advantage for Rosenqvist saw the gap come down.
On the penultimate lap, Rosenqvist made his move down into Turn 5, beginning a brilliant battle which saw the two go pretty much side-by-side for the next four corners, banging wheels a couple of times along the way.
The overtake was made all the more impressive by Rosenqvist’s need to go around the outside of the high-speed kink of Turn 7. In Saturday’s race, Conor Daly tried to do the exact same thing to O’Ward, which resulted in a huge accident for Daly.
Rosenqvist’s win makes it four wins from four races for the Chip Ganassi Racing team, after five-time champion Scott Dixon reeled off victories in the first three races of the year.
O’Ward held on for second - not only his first podium in the series, but also the first for McLaren in its return to the championship. Alexander Rossi finally had a strong race to finish third, with Marcus Ericsson in fourth. Dixon had a tough day and only finished 12th, but still has a healthy 54-point lead in the championship over Colton Herta as the series heads for another double-header next weekend, this time at the short-track oval of Iowa Speedway.