Felix Rosenqvist took the chequered flag in his first-ever race on an oval track as the Indy Lights series visited the Phoenix International Raceway for round two of the 2016 campaign this weekend.
Despite scoring an emphatic victory on the streets of St. Petersburg (Florida) three weeks ago, Rosenqvist headed into the Arizona event with lingering uncertainty, unsure of how his first experience of oval racing would pan out.
As it was, the Swede qualified 13th on the grid with a two-lap average of 165 mph, before going on to finish 15th in Saturday’s sole race.
”It’s mixed feelings at the moment,” says Felix Rosenqvist. ”On the one hand, I’m happy to have this weekend out of the way and to have completed my first oval event – on the other, I was lacking some pace. I simply haven’t got my head around this yet, and I was hoping to challenge closer to the front of the field. Racing on an oval is very different to anything I’ve done before, but I’ve learned so much this weekend – particularly in terms of managing the traffic. I’m still convinced I can be a winner on ovals, but it will require some work and I will take all the lessons I can out of this experience.”
Despite the outcome in Phoenix, Rosenqvist still sits third in the overall championship standings, heading the rookie classification.
The next Indy Lights round marks a return to a more traditional venue, as the series heads to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on April 22-24. Felix Rosenqvist will be back in action as soon as next weekend, however, when the European part of his 2016 racing programme commences with the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup curtain-raiser at Misano, Italy. Rosenqvist will drive a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for French outfit AKKA-ASP at the event.
Indy Lights | Phoenix International Raceway (Arizona, USA)
1: Kyle Kaiser (USA)
2: Ed Jones (UAE)
3: RC Enerson (USA)
4: Santiago Urrutia (URU)
5: Dean Stoneman (GBR)
15: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE)
Indy Lights | After 3/18 races
1: Kyle Kaiser (USA), 81 p.
2: Félix Serrallés (PRI), 63 p.
3: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 53 p.
4: Ed Jones (UAE), 50 p.
5: RC Enerson (USA), 48 p.