Dakar Rally News: Palou’s Late Pit Stop Blunder Costs Him Chance at Mid-Ohio Victory

    In a thrilling IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, Alex Palou’s chances of securing a second consecutive victory at the event were dashed by a costly mistake during his final pit stop.

    The Spaniard had dominated the opening half of the race, leading 53 of the 80 laps and building up a sizeable advantage over his closest rival, Patricio O’Ward of Arrow McLaren. However, Palou’s No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda began to struggle with tire wear during the middle stint, allowing O’Ward to steadily chip away at the lead.

    “We had a slow stop, I couldn’t really engage first gear,” Palou explained. “Maybe I was trying to get it too fast, so probably my fault.”

    The self-inflicted error during the pit stop proved to be the decisive factor, as O’Ward was able to capitalize and take the lead, ultimately winning the race by a margin of just under half a second.

    “It was fun until it wasn’t as much for me,” said a disappointed Palou, who had entered the race as the defending champion. “I had a great car. Had a lot of fun in the race. Ran really good in the first stint on primaries. I think really strong on the primaries, a bit more than we anticipated, and we were a bit worse than we anticipated on the alternates.”

    Despite the setback, Palou was able to extend his championship lead by 48 points, highlighting the consistent performance of the No. 10 car throughout the season. The Spaniard admitted that he had considered a daring move to try and reclaim the lead on the final lap, but ultimately fell short.

    “It was tough to pass,” Palou said. “I got really close on the last lap going into Turn 6. I was going to try โ€“ like if he didn’t close, I was going to dive in and see what the outcome was. But yeah, it wasn’t the day. At least we tried.”

    The IndyCar Series will now head to the Streets of Toronto for the next round of the championship, where Palou will be eager to bounce back and return to the top step of the podium.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source