Arrow McLaren Gears Up at Barber Motorsports Park: Practice Recap for the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix

Written by Adrian Beecher

This weekend, the Arrow McLaren team is set to compete in the fourth round of the IndyCar season at the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park. The 17-turn, 2.3-mile track will host a total of 90 laps, promising high-speed thrills and intense racing action. With practice sessions heating up, the team’s drivers are gearing up for a crucial qualifying round and the main event on Sunday.

Pato O’Ward in Striking Distance
Pato O’Ward, piloting the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, secured a promising second-place finish in the first practice session with a time of 1:06.7875 over 25 laps. Expressing his affinity for the track, O’Ward stated, “I love driving around this place. It’s a track I really enjoy and always have. It’s high-commitment.” Looking forward to Saturday, he added, “We’re just going to try to get the car a little bit better for tomorrow and see if we can get it done in qualifying.”

Alexander Rossi Seeks Improvement
Alexander Rossi faced a tougher start, finishing 22nd in the initial session. His time of 1:07.8176 reflects the challenges he and his team are working to overcome. Rossi commented, “That was a challenging session, and I don’t think we’re quite in the window yet.” Despite the setback, Rossi remains optimistic about making significant progress. “We need to look at what we are doing and how we can get things back to where we were at last month’s test,” he remarked, focusing on a stronger showing in the upcoming sessions.

Théo Pourchaire Gains Valuable Experience
Rookie Théo Pourchaire, behind the wheel of the No. 6 NTT DATA Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, is using this weekend as a learning opportunity. He ended the first practice session in 25th place, clocking in at 1:08.0083 after 35 laps. Pourchaire shared, “It was a smooth session. What was most important for me was to get as many laps as possible to learn the track and the car in those conditions.” With a focus on adapting to the high speeds and unique demands of Barber Motorsports Park, he remains positive about his progression.

Team Principal Gavin Ward Weighs In
Gavin Ward, Team Principal, summarized the day’s efforts as a “mixed bag.” He praised O’Ward’s performance as a solid benchmark for the team, while acknowledging the areas needing improvement for Rossi and Pourchaire. “Alexander is not feeling really comfortable today, but I’ve got no doubt we’ve got the best people to figure that one out overnight,” Ward noted. He also recognized Pourchaire’s challenges but remains confident in the rookie’s ability to adapt and improve.

As the Arrow McLaren team looks toward the qualifying rounds and the main race, their focus is clear: refine their strategies, optimize their setups, and push for top performances on race day. With high expectations and a strong team spirit, Arrow McLaren is poised to make a significant impact at the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix.

For more updates, follow along on NBC this Sunday starting from 12:00 p.m. CST.

Image credit Areow McClaren

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