Thursday, December 1 2022



Indycar driver Pato O’Ward of Mexico drives up Avenue des Pins during the final practice session for the Long Beach Grand Prix auto race on Saturday, September 25, 2021 in Long Beach, Calif. (Will Lester / The Orange County Register via AP)


Pato O’Ward was knocked out of the IndyCar Championship just 18 laps from Sunday’s season finale due to a broken driveshaft.

O’Ward entered the Long Beach Grand Prix behind leader Alex Palou by 35 points and needed a perfect day to become the first Mexican champion in IndyCar history.

“The gearbox is gone,” O’Ward told his Arrow McLaren SP team over the radio as he slowed his car down on the temporary street course.

Palou entered the race needing only an 11th place finish on Sunday to win his first IndyCar title. The 24-year-old Spaniard has faced 22-year-old O’Ward all season as the youngsters have been the faces of a new youth movement.

But this final weekend has been frustrating for O’Ward, who has vowed to do everything in his power to disrupt the championship race. He was unhappy with his car in practice on Friday, then furious on Saturday when an IndyCar decision prevented him from qualifying for the final lap of qualifying.

This put O’Ward in eighth at the start of the race – in traffic that led to a disaster in the first lap. He was spun from behind by Ed Jones a few minutes after the start of the race when he was eighth.

” I was touched ! O’Ward yelled over his radio as Arrow McLaren SP boss Zak Brown raised his arms in disgust over the team’s clock. Some six hours earlier, Lando Norris lost a chance for his first Formula 1 victory when the McLaren driver slipped on a wet course in Russia as the late leader.

Barely a minute into the organization’s attempt to win the IndyCar title, O’Ward had lost his position and dropped to 25th place, penultimate.

“It’s certainly not a good day here and in Russia with such high hopes,” said Brown as O’Ward still walked away with his helmet on. “Quite disappointing that Pato was knocked out by an amateur movement even before the start of the race.”



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