Gearbox user error nearly cost Palou his perfect Detroit weekend

DETROIT STREET CIRCUIT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - JUNE 03: #10: Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda NTT Data P1 Pole Award winner at Detroit Street Circuit on Saturday June 03, 2023, United States of America. (Photo by LAT Images)

Alex Palou had a near-perfect weekend on IndyCar’s new downtown Detroit street course, winning from pole in the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. But a tiny error on an upshift nearly brought his race undone.

Palou was preparing for a restart midway during the race when his car went into emergency mode, and while it cost him the lead when Team Penske’s Will Power dived past on the inside, the 2021 series champion said he felt fortunate it didn’t impact his race further.

“I haven’t spoken to the team yet, but I was trying to warm up the rear tires,” Palou said. “I up-shifted into second when we were wheel-spinning. It got stuck in first. I got stuck. I couldn’t really shift.

“Before they told me, because I was already heading to Turn 2, I switched to emergency mode because that’s the only way to take all the issues out. It went well, but you lose a lot of performance upshifting. That’s why Will got us – exit of turn three I got it back to

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