TORONTO — Christian Lundgaard could not wait to shave off his mustache, eradicating the hair from his higher lip proper there on Victory Lane on the Honda Indy Toronto.
Lundgaard began on the pole and took benefit of the automotive troubles of IndyCar standings chief Alex Palou to hold on to victory Sunday. His first win on North America’s prime open-wheel auto racing circuit additionally delivered to an finish a pact together with his greatest buddy to maintain his mustache till he climbed atop an IndyCar podium.
Lundgaard mentioned he was pleased to be rid of the facial hair.
“However I have not seen it but, so I do not actually know what it appears like,” mentioned the 21-year-old Danish driver, who rubbed his higher lip all through the postrace information convention. “I suppose I am going to wait and see.”
Lundgaard took the pole Saturday as regular rainfall made the road course round Toronto’s Exhibition Place slippery. The son of 2000 European rally automotive champion Henrik Lundgaard, the IndyCar sophomore took benefit of his off-roading background to safe the No. 1 begin place within the race.
However after qualifying, Lundgaard was pessimistic about having the quickest automotive within the precise race. Finally, he felt he had the race beneath management from begin to end.
“We wrestle, particularly on the superspeedways,” mentioned Lundgaard, who led the race for 53 of the 85 laps. “We’re transferring ahead regardless that we do not have the tempo and efficiency on the superspeedways.
“It simply signifies that we will be doing fairly good elsewhere and I believe we proved that in the present day.”
Palou took second regardless of beginning fifteenth on the grid and nursing a broken entrance wing for greater than 20 laps. Colton Herta was third for his first podium end of the season.
Palou had received three of the previous 4 races on the circuit’s schedule. His podium end Sunday padded his lead within the season’s standings forward of Scott Dixon, his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate.
“I’m glad that we had been in a position to overcome. It isn’t straightforward in IndyCar and particularly in races like that,” mentioned Palou, who now has 417 factors to Dixon’s 300. “I believe our race was much more troublesome than it may appear for those who solely have a look at the outcomes.
“At one level, I used to be within the wall, I did not know if we had been going to have the ability to make it from there or not.”
Scott McLaughlin and Dixon each briefly held the lead across the midway level of the race. However their selections to not pit throughout a prolonged yellow flag finally gave Palou and Lundgaard the possibility to maneuver into the lead once they did have to cease.
Lundgaard handed Palou with 24 laps to go and, realizing the Ganassi automotive’s entrance wing was coming free, he floored it.
“I knew I might get previous him and that the vehicles forward of him needed to pit anyway as a result of they would not be capable to make it both on their tires or gas,” mentioned Lundgaard, who moved into seventh within the IndyCar standings. “I knew I needed to overtake only one automotive and he was struggling.
“As quickly as I acquired previous him I simply took off.”
Palou’s entrance wing was barely hanging on by the top of the race, with one finish drooping all the way down to the bottom and a big crack within the automotive’s nostril.
“I may really feel it dragging and I used to be like ‘Oh man, that is not good,'” Palou mentioned, including that he tried to keep away from curbs on the road course in an effort to protect the wing. “I truthfully thought that we weren’t going to finish the race with that nostril.
“I believe it was solely the [sponsor stickers] that had been holding it on as a result of there was nothing else there.”
Dixon, the defending Honda Indy Toronto champion, began seventh on the grid and even led for a number of laps however completed fourth after his crew miscalculated when he ought to pit.
McLaughlin, who began the race in second place, completed sixth.