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2021 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Race Report

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Date: Sunday, September 19th

Round: 15/16

Race laps: 95 laps

Total race distance: 212.61 miles/342.16 km

Length: 2.38 miles/3.60 km

Number of turns: 11

Pato O’Ward, Driver, No. 5 Arrow Mclaren SP Chevrolets

Starting Position: 6th
Finishing Position: 5th
Championship: 2nd, 482 points

“I’m disappointed and happy. I’m happy because I think we extracted the most out of the package we had this weekend. We were able to get into the Fast Six in qualifying and that put us in a great position to start. We took a risk and started on black Firestone tires, because we thought we could get them out of the way, but the preferred tire was new reds. We only had one set of new reds, so we were forced to use three sets of black primary tires and one set of new reds; and that was our race. We did everything we could, and I fought like hell. We are still alive in the championship, and a lot of things can fall our way. We will go to Long Beach and try to win it and see where everything else falls.”

Felix Rosenqvist, Driver No. 7 Arrow Mclaren SP Chevrolet

Starting Position: 15th
Finishing Position: 19th
Championship Standing: 21st, 188 points

“It wasn’t by any means a good race for us today. It was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever driven. It wasn’t easy and was a long race with a lot of tire degradation. I spun on my own and that just made it more difficult. I feel like I reached my driving ceiling during that race, and we weren’t in the window of being comfortable. This was a race we didn’t excel at this year as a team. We could have had a better result, but there are a lot of lessons to take from this year into next year. Looking forward to closing this season at the street course at Long Beach and having a good season finale.”

Taylor Kiel, President, Arrow Mclaren SP

“It was definitely the race we expected with high tire degradation and few strategies at play. We saw a lot of cars hitting cliffs on these tires which we haven’t seen in a long time. So it mixed things up from that point of view. For Pato, I think we maximized what we had. We didn’t have the best car today. We had a fifth or sixth-place car and we came home fifth.
Felix had another tough day, starting off with some contact that caused him to spin and he was on his back foot from there on out. A tough day for him, but he certainly helped us at the end of the race trying to protect us from cars trying to take points away. He did well for us there being a good teammate and helping the team from that perspective. We still have a shot and we are heading to Long Beach to go for the championship.”

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