Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global

O’Ward, Dixon positive after rising from mid-grid at Long Beach

Both Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon were relieved to finish fifth and sixth respectively in the Acura GP of Long Beach, having recovered from disappointing qualifying sessions.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

O’Ward started 11th on the grid after scrappy practice sessions – that included a hard sideways glance of the wall that bent a wheel – and a difficult qualifying run.

While teammate Felix Rosenqvist started fourth but dropped down the field after clashing with Alexander Rossi, O’Ward went in the opposite direction. His final pass into fifth place came when Dixon ahead was held up by the limping damaged car of his Ganassi teammate, Marcus Ericsson.

"Today was honestly very solid for us,” said O’Ward. “I know it's not a win but we've had a very rough start to our year. All I wanted for the team today was to get a nice, solid foundation and I'll take care of the rest.

“We can build on momentum today, and we should be proud of that. We went forward, not just a couple of positions but a good handful.

“There's 14 races to go, so plenty of races, and this was a significant step forward considering where we started.

“In the beginning of the weekend we were nowhere. I had a great racecar today. Eyes forward. We're going to be doing some good stuff in the next few races."

Dixon had been a deeply disappointing 16th on the grid, so the team rolled the dice on strategy, pitting him some six-eight laps earlier than the opposition, requiring him to save fuel but allowing him to move into the top six. He was passed by Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean before the second stop, and by Team Penske’s Will Power after the stop, but appeared set for a top five until Ericsson’s Turn 4 crash in the closing stages.

“Honestly it started with qualifying, we had a big mistake on the car which cost us, we couldn't even make it through Q1 because [the car] was undriveable.

“We were super-aggressive on strategy, I think we jumped 10 cars with the first pitstop. We had to give up a little bit to save fuel, but I think people thought we were crazy with the lap that we pitted on. So kudos to HPD and Honda, and a good points day.

“We've got to get our act together, we've got to get the maximum out of it, because the competition is so tough this year.”

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Newgarden elated by Long Beach win after “super difficult” fight
Next article Palou: “We gave everything we had” at Long Beach

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global