Thursday, June 1, 2023

Duck O’ Ward loses IndyCar lead

The Mexican Pato O’Ward said goodbye to the leadership of the IndyCar drivers’ championship, this after finishing 17th in the Long Beach Grand Prix, in California, the third stop of the season.

The man from Monterrey was one of the most aggressive throughout the 85 laps, starting with hard tires, but ended up with Scott Dixon in a duel that caused the Mexican to go against the wall on lap 20, which generated a flag yellow.

But that was not the only incident, after the restart O’Ward started strongly, but came into contact with Kyle Kirkwood, which caused a spin and a delay in the middle of the grid, in addition to sending the Mexican out of the top 10.

Despite the fact that the car was not damaged, Pato O’Ward lost positions and was relegated to 17th place at the end of 85 laps.

While Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood knew how to take advantage of the spaces for passing and was crowned in Long Beach for the first time. For his part, the Swedish Marcus Ericsson, from Gannassi, who was third in this race, is the new leader of the competition, with 101 points, surpassing O’Ward, who is in second place, with 95 points.

“Not much more to say. I am sorry for the great crowd that came to see the event and I am very sorry for my team that gave me a great car all weekend,” the Mexican wrote on social media.

Kyle Kirkwood claimed his first career IndyCar victory on Sunday, holding off a bruising from Andretti Autosport teammate Romain Grosjean on the street course in downtown Long Beach.

Kirkwood won pole position for the Long Beach Grand Prix a day earlier and the Jupiter, Florida native closed out the weekend with victory in the most prestigious race on a street circuit in the United States. “I’m over the moon,” said Kirkwood, who shed a few tears.

*With information from AP


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