Monaco, September 12 – A very strong driving and skillful team strategies gave MIM driver Alex Palou his third win of the season for CGR team, and allowed him to retake the lead of the series with a 25 point margin and two more races to go.
Alex had started Sunday’s Portland Grand Prix from pole position after dominating the qualifying session and things looked very promising for the #10 driver. Yet, right after the start he and team-mate Dixon were forced to go straight at Turn 1 after Dixon was hit from behind by Felix Rosenqvist. Palou rejoined the pack in P6 and from then on, the team put him on an alternate strategy, pitting already on lap 10 under yellow flag. Serving an early stop allowed Alex to postpone the subsequent pit calls, taking full advantage of staying out longer (the so-called ‘overcut’) to gain positions on exiting the pit road. Halfway though the race the Spaniard was P4 just before the final round of pitstops, which Palou served on lap 80 while leading the race. When all the other drivers had completed their cycle, Alex found himself in P1 and from that moment on, his only concern was to fend off the final attempts from Alexander Rossi to win the race. But Palou kept a cold head and brought him home, jumping from minus 10 to plus 25 in the overall point standings. This win also marks Alex’s sixth podium finish.
“I knew it was a very long race – said the 24-year old – and I tried to avoid having an accident at the start, knowing that we could have recovered lost positions. Our strategy was amazing today, so I would say it was not just me but all the guys in the team that deserve credit. Everything was perfect and we also beat bad luck!”.
The next two events of the 2021 IndyCar series will be held on the West Coast, starting with Laguna Seca Raceway next weekend and moving to the Streets of Long Beach for the final round of the season.