Updated: May 22
Patricio O’Ward took his first IndyCar win at the Texas Motor Speedway, in the XPEL 375. The 21-year-old Mexican took McLaren’s first IndyCar victory since 1979, and gained 2nd place in the drivers’ standings. The 2018 Indy Lights champ took the lead on lap 225, and held off Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal to become the 4th different winner in 4 IndyCar races in 2021, in the 2nd of the Texas events.
Written by Danny Jones, Edited by Seow Hui Zhi
The race featured a colossal opening lap crash, with minor contact between Pietro Fittipaldi and Sebastian Bourdais causing a chain reaction. Which eventually led to the retirements of Conor Daly, Dalton Kellett, Ed Jones, James Hinchcliffe, Alexander Rossi, Fittipaldi and Bourdais. Scott Dixon’s impressive season continued, as he finished 4th to retain the championship lead.
O’Ward’s victory has provided him with the opportunity to test for McLaren F1 at the Abu Dhabi young driver test at the end of the season, an agreement that he had made with McLaren CEO, Zak Brown.
Patricio O’Ward celebrating his first win
McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo expressed their support for the Mexican at the test with Norris stating, “obviously it would be cool to see Pato anyway in a Formula 1 car, and I wish them and the American side all the best in trying to win some races and so on, it would be cool to see someone jump from an IndyCar to Formula 1 and see the differences. I’m sure some things are maybe easier and some things are a lot more difficult and very different, so it would be cool”. Whilst Ricciardo said ‘It’ll be cool to give someone that opportunity.”
IndyCar goes again in 2 weeks, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the GMR Grand Prix, another 2 weeks before the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, where O’Ward and the rest of the field will be gunning for 1 part of the ‘Triple Crown’.