Pato O’Ward Triumphs in First Hybrid Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

FILE PHOTO — INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – AUGUST 12: Indy Car Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward (5) of Mexico races during the 2023 Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 12, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Staff report

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Mexican driver Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren secured a landmark victory at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, in a race that saw the debut of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ hybrid system.

O’Ward faced intense pressure from Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing, who led a race-high 53 laps. Despite Palou’s strong performance, a slow pit stop allowed O’Ward to seize the lead, and he held off Palou to win by a narrow margin of just 0.4993 seconds.

Scott McLaughlin rounded out the podium in third place, with Colton Herta finishing fourth and Marcus Ericsson fifth.

Palou Extends Championship Lead

While Palou narrowly missed out on his third victory of the season, his second-place finish allowed him to extend his championship lead to 48 points. “That was very, very close! It’s a shame we couldn’t make the alternate tires work better,” said Palou. “Racing with the hybrid was a ton of fun. It made things interesting, and I think everybody had fun with it.”

Debut of Hybrid Energy Recovery System

The race marked the competition debut of INDYCAR’s new hybrid Energy Recovery System. All 27 cars were equipped with a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 internal combustion engine supplemented by the hybrid system, including an electric Motor Generator Unit (MGU) and Honda Racing Corporation USA-developed Energy Storage System (ESS).

Honda Performance

Honda drivers delivered strong performances, with Andretti Global’s Colton Herta and Marcus Ericsson finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Christian Lundgaard and Kyle Kirkwood also secured top-ten finishes for Honda.

David Salters, President of Honda Racing Corporation USA, praised the debut of the hybrid system. “A massive shout out to our team for the huge effort that went into getting us here. It’s a completely new hybrid system, and things went really well today. We came within half a second of winning the first hybrid race, which is great motivation to keep improving.”

Full Race Results for Honda Drivers

  • 2nd: Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing
  • 4th: Colton Herta, Andretti Global
  • 5th: Marcus Ericsson, Andretti Global
  • 7th: Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
  • 8th: Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Global

Championship Standings

  1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: 329 points (2 wins)
  2. Will Power, Team Penske: -48 (1 win)
  3. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren: -70 (2 wins)
  4. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: -71 (2 wins)
  5. Colton Herta, Andretti Global: -80

Looking Ahead

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES continues with a doubleheader race weekend at Iowa Speedway from July 12-14. The Hy-Vee Homefront 250 will take place on Saturday night, followed by the Hy-Vee One Step 250 on Sunday.

For more images and highlights from the race, visit the IndyCar gallery.

Photo Courtesy for Honda Racing Corporation

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