Detroit — Alex Palou captured the checkered flag at the 2023 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. He started the race from pole position in his No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda. It was an action-packed race with lots of cautions on the streets of Detroit.
“It was a really busy race, honestly but we had a really fast car,” Palou said at the post-race press conference. “At the end, it was too busy for me. This is my first win on a street course. It was a tight race. I was struggling more than I wanted to with Will. I was watching the mirror for him. He was really fast, very aggressive. But it’s always good racing with him.”
“In turn two, I switched to emergency mode,” the race winner explained. “At turn three, I got it back to normal. That was panic mode, I didn’t know what to do. I think we had more grip than I expected. The driving lane was black, like rubber. It was better than I expected. There was big bumps on the right side, so it was easy to go on the left.”
Will Power finished in second place in his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet. He was just 1.1843 seconds behind Palou. Power started the race in seventh position.
He was asked if this race was the most aggressive drive in years? “Yes, we had pretty measured moves. We are in a position to be aggressive. I’m trying to go as hard as I can right now. I needed to try to limit the damage. It was probably a pretty good race from the outside,” said Power. He was also asked “When did you learn to start liking the track?” He said during the second session.
Felix Rosenqvist finished third in his No. 6 Onsemi Chevrolet. He was 5.9515 seconds behind the winner. Rosenqvist started in the ninth position.
“We were able to pass cars on the straight. It’s good to be back on the podium. It was a fun race. There were some close calls. We race hard, but we race fair. They let us battle us out on the track. I was trying not to get into the wall. We were doing some good corner speeds. It was a cool challenge,” says Rosenqvist.
There were seven caution flags for a total of 32 laps. On lap number 2, Kyle Kirkwood and Callum Ilott had contact in turn three. Then, on lap 43, Pato O’Ward hit the wall on turn number 9. On lap 49, Sting Ray Robb’s car ran off the course in turn 3. Later on lap 82, Romain Grosjean hit the wall in turn 4. On lap 87, David Malukas hit the wall on turn 9. The final caution came on lap number 92 where Santino Ferrucci and Sting Ray Robb ran off the course in turn number 3.
“Detroit did a tremendous job, the fans were great,” Palou added. “Hopefully, we can tweak some stuff and make it better for next year.”
The 2023 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear lasted just over two hours and one minute with an average speed of 80.922 miles per hour. Kyle Kirkwood had the fastest lap during the race with a speed of 95.607 mph on lap 69.
There were ten lead changes during the race. Alex Palou led the most laps with 74 followed by Will Power who led 14 laps. Marcus Ericsson led with 7 laps and Josef Newgarden led two. The following drivers each led one lap: Alexander Rossi, Kyle Kirkwood and Pato O’Ward.
Will Power said he was excited to meet rapper Flavor Flav at the race. “He wore my t-shirt and brought his girlfriend. It was a pretty cool experience and I should put it on my personal Facebook. He was asked if he gave him the t-shirt? “He bought the t-shirt,” said Power. “I’d like to meet Eminem and Ice Cube. That would be epic,” added Power.
The weather for Sunday’s race was sunny and breezy by the Detroit River. The air temperature was about 75 degrees and the track temperature was 103 degrees.
The next NTT Indycar Series race will be the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America on Sunday, June 18, 2023.