Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Long-time Indy 500 entrant Rolla Vollstedt passes away

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Rolla Vollstedt, a long-time IndyCar team owner and entrant in the Indianapolis 500, passed away earlier this week in Portland, Oregon.

Vollstedt fielded entries in National Championship Car competition (what later became IndyCar) at dirt track events, beginning in the 1950s, before entering his first Indianapolis 500 in 1964. Using one of the first American-built rear-engine cars to have an Offenhauser engine powering it, Vollstedt’s driver Len Sutton qualified eighth and ran as high as fourth in that year’s “500” before mechanical gremlins sidelined the effort.

However, Vollstedt might be best known as the car owner who fielded an entry for Janet Guthrie, who became the first woman to try to qualify for the race in 1976. While persistent mechanical problems forced the team to withdraw their entry that year, they returned in 1977, with Guthrie making the field on the final day of qualifying.

Vollstedt became famous for being the first owner to file an entry for an upcoming Indy 500 every year, and his cars were often the first to take to the track when practice began every May.

Although his entries never won an IndyCar race, one of his cars did qualify second at Riverside, California in 1967 and even briefly led in the opening laps, with two-time Formula 1 world champion and Indy 500 winner Jim Clark at the helm.

Rolla Vollstedt was 99 years old at the time of his passing.

 

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Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

FIA F3 Europe
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Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.

Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.

Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.

Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.

Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.

Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.

Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.

Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.