Race Weekend Central

Felix Rosenqvist Already Back to Speed With Meyer Shank

As the 2024 NTT IndyCar Series season went green for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday (March 10), the only team that didn’t see change in the paddock was Team Penske. However, after Simon Pagenaud was left sidelined after an accident last summer at Mid-Ohio, Meyer Shank Racing went through a complete revamp in the offseason.

With Felix Rosenqvist leaving Arrow McLaren, Meyer Shank Racing would provide an opportunity not only for a needed change, but for Rosenqvist to be the top driver at a team. To this point, the Swede was always in the shadows of teammates throughout his career such as Scott Dixon, Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi.

“It takes some time, but the communication with the team has been good, we showed we had the speed this weekend” Rosenqvist said after starting on the front row in the race and bringing home a seventh-place finish. “We had a bad second pit stop, but the car was fast.”

Rosenqvist was fastest in the opening practice on the streets of St. Petersburg on Friday. In fact, Rosenqvist’s lap in opening practice was five-tenths of a second faster than the second-fastest driver in that session, O’Ward.

During Saturday’s qualifying session, Rosenqvist set the track record at St. Pete with a time of 59.270 seconds to advance him to the Firestone Fast Six. By the slimmest of margins, Rosenqvist missed out on the team’s first ever pole position – 0.0058 seconds. The second-place start tied the best starting spot for his team and was Felix’s best showing in qualifying since his pole last summer at Toronto.

See also
Josef Newgarden Dominates St. Petersburg to Start 2024 Season

With the move to Meyer Shank Racing also comes the switch to Honda. Rosenqvist drove for Chevrolet the previous two seasons with mixed results including nine finishes outside the top 20.

“I am used to the engine and it felt good,” Rosenqvist said. “Yeah, you could say it fits my driving style well.”

Rosenqvist could only muster a best of 12th place in a Chevy in his last three attempts at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. His three races in this event while piloting a Honda have resulted in a fourth, 18th and now seventh-place finish. Today’s top-10 run for the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda was the team’s first top 10 on a road or street course since the end of 2022 when Pagenaud finished ninth on the streets of downtown Nashville.

INDYCAR saw record crowds and merchandise sales for this years Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It’s the best place for the sport to start the season. INDYCAR will return to action for the first ever race at Thermal Club in California in two weeks. It will be the first time since 1992 that the series will run an All Star-type race.

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