Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Grosjean 'proud' of a very good result after a stressful weekend for JHR

The weekend didn’t start well for the 38-year-old Swiss-born Frenchman after a crash on the primary lap of opening practice last Friday.

Even with no track time and after qualifying 14thvol with the weather mixed, Grosjean still felt he had enough pace to fight for something within the fifty fifth race. After avoiding early race confusion and employing a three-stop strategy – starting with softer alternative tires and switching to harder essential tires after the primary stop – he battled contained in the top ten.

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Grosjean managed to pass Arrow McLaren's Pato O'Ward on the last lap to complete seventh, his second top-10 of the season and best result with JHR.

“It feels like we deserve more,” Grosjean said. “I don't know where people disappeared to because I felt like we were maintaining with O'Ward [Kyle] Kirkwood z [Alexander] Rossi, [Christian] Lundgaard, [Marcus] Ericsson.

“Obviously some guys had a bit more pace than us, however the automotive performed amazingly and I'm very happy with where we finished.

“We did such an awesome job. On Friday, after nothing, the warm-up was our first lap on dry surface and we did very well.

Watch: Round 8 – Road America Grand Prix – race highlights

The result was boosted by JHR, which last week sparked an issue involving Agustin Canapino that led to the dissolution of its strategic alliance with Arrow McLaren.

Arrow McLaren rookie Theo Pourchaire sparked the ire of Canapino fans after colliding with him throughout the Detroit Grand Prix. Pourchaire then flagged the abuse he faced on his social media channels, which led to more online hate.

Canapino, a 34-year-old Argentine driver, reacted on social media to several fan posts directed at Pourchaire, together with a press release through which he rejected claims that his supporters were threatening rivals. As a result, Canapino took a “vacation” from Road America and was replaced by full-time Indy NXT competitor Nolan Siegel, who finished twenty third.

“They were very strong,” Grosjean said of his team. “They focused on the race and the race and gave their all.

“I apologized to my engineer [Saturday] within the evening because after qualifying I used to be a bit of indignant because I knew we had greater than we had. I told him, “You know, I want more for you because I know we can do more.”

“And I believe [in the race] we showed it. The pace was very strong. Don't think the yellows helped us with our normal strategy, but we did an awesome job. I'm very happy with them.”

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, accident

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, accident

Photo: Art Fleischmann

A series of adverse results plagued Grosjean in early April, including several clashes with AJ Foyt Racing's Santino Ferrucci at Barber Motorsports Park and on the Indianapolis Road Course, and he was hit by Lundgaard in Detroit.

“I want some luck and [it] it was a traditional race,” Grosjean said. “We weren't lucky, but I feel like we were strong all yr. We did very well in Detroit, but we were unlucky.

“We were strong at Barber, but our strategy didn't work. Indy Road route from Santino. Honestly, I believe we did a excellent job this yr, we were very consistent and tried to not make mistakes.

“I wasn't too happy after Friday, but we bounced back nicely.”

After scoring his best result since ending second for Andretti Autosport at Barber last yr, Grosjean flew to Europe this weekend to compete within the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Lamborghini squad run by Iron Lynx.

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