Kevin Magnussen will make his IndyCar debut at Road America in place of Felix Rosenqvist

IndyCar Magnussen Rosenqvist
IMSA
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Kevin Magnussen will make his IndyCar debut this weekend at Road America, replacing Felix Rosenqvist in Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet.

In a statement Wednesday morning, Arrow McLaren SP said Rosenqvist hadn’t been cleared to race since his violent crash last Saturday in the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Racewaay. Rosenqivst was hospitalized overnight for evaluation after nosing his car head-first into the Turn 6 wall at full speed.

“Felix will continue to be supported by the team as he progresses in his recovery from an accident last weekend in Race One of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix,” the team said. “Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his IndyCar debut. Magnussen has been released on a temporary basis by Chip Ganassi Racing to drive for Arrow McLaren SP.”

Magnussen scored his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory last week at Detroit for Ganassi with co-driver Renger van der Zande in the No. 01 Cadillac DPi. Magnussen also qualified on an IMSA pole position for the first time.

The son of sports car ace Jan Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula One team in 2014 with a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen raced F1 for the Haas F1 team from 2017-20 before moving to Ganassi’s new IMSA team in DPi this season and made his debut with the Rolex 24 in January.

At Haas F1, Magnussen was teamed with Romain Grosjean, who also will be racing IndyCar at Road America with Dale Coyne Racing.

Former F1 teammates Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean chatted at Detroit Belle Isle last week (IMSA).

Arrow McLaren SP said “further updates about Felix’s status will be shared in due course.”

In the second race of the Detroit Grand Prix, Oliver Askew replaced Rosenqvist in the No. 7 for McLaren SP. Askew was announced last night as the driver of the No. 21 Dallara-Chevy at Road America for Ed Carpenter Racing, replacing Rinus VeeKay (who underwent clavicle surgery after a biking accident).

Road America practice will begin Friday at 5:15 p.m. ET at Road America with a second practice and qualifying Saturday at the road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (coverage of practice and qualifying will be on Peacock).

The 55-lap REV Group Grand Prix will be held Sunday at noon ET on NBCSN.

Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

In a final session Thursday night, Matt Campbell was fastest (1:35.802) in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 but still was off the times set by Westbrook and Taylor.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Click here for Session III (by class)

Combined speeds