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Romain Grosjean Finishes a Satisfying 7th at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. — A week after scoring his worst finish of the 2024 IndyCar Series season, Romain Grosjean pulled everything together to finish seventh in Sunday’s (June 9) XPEL Grand Prix at Road America.

The No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet started 14th after failing to advance out of the first round of qualifying on Saturday. Following the first lap collisions at the front of the field, Grosjean climbed to ninth place as many of the front runners either spun at turn 1, ran through the grass in avoidance or stalled after contact.

The Swiss-born Frenchman moved around Alex Palou and Christian Lundgaardon lap 10 to put himself in seventh place before pitting for the first time on lap 16.

After his final pit stop on lap 42, Grosjean was in eighth place until he got by Pato O’Ward on the final lap to snatch seventh place from the Mexican racer. That pass gave Grosjean his best finish of the 2024 season and his first top 10 since finishing eighth at Long Beach in April.

“We had a very good car on both tire (compounds),” Grosjean told Frontstretchon pit road following the race. “So I almost wish the stints were longer because we had much less degradation than everyone else and lost a bit on the out lap, but [had] really low deg. So the car felt great and I tried to keep some push to pass for the end. I mean we needed one more lap to get [Colton] Herta, but it is what it is.”

Grosjean had the fourth fastest car in Sunday’s morning warmup session but that was too little too late to show his pace after an early crash in Friday afternoon’s practice session.

Grosjean’s car needed several laps to bring the tires up to temperature while other drivers could push almost immediately after leaving the pits whether it was in qualifying or the race.

“I could see Pato and [Rinus] VeeKay and those guys being super fast on the out lap,” Grosjean said. “But then seven laps later I’m catching them and passing them. Had a really good move on Pato on the last lap and that was fun.”

The result was a massive mood lifter for Grosjean and the team. After a frustrating race in Detroit where the car had pace but a late accident dropped Grosjean from a possible top five finish down to 23rd place. Grosjean’s frsutration ran so high at Detroit that he at one point radioed his team asking what was the point of continuing.

In Wisconsin, however, everything came together on race day for the former Formula 1 racer.

“Last week if you look at the lap times, we had the second fastest lap in the race on 35 lap-old tires,” Grosjean said of Detroit. “So the car was outstanding. For me the goal this year is finish top 10 in the championship in drivers and we need to be very consistent up there. So, you know, when you have a race like Detroit and you’re running fourth and then suddenly you 24th, it, it didn’t make much sense.

“I think we did well to do that and bounced back and had a good day today. So I’m happy for the team. I’m happy from what they can show and yeah, we focused on racing this weekend. That worked well.”

For now, Grosjean is off to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Lamborghini in the Hypercar class. Later, he’ll be back behind the wheel of his No. 77 Chevy at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the Grand Prix of Monterrey on June 23.


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