Detroit IndyCar: Rossi grabs Race 1 pole, Newgarden tops Group 1

Alexander Rossi produced a brilliantly acrobatic lap to nail his sixth NTT IndyCar Series pole in Detroit, beating Scott Dixon by 0.2sec in Group 2, while Josef Newgarden led the first group and will start on the outside of the front row.

Detroit IndyCar: Rossi grabs Race 1 pole, Newgarden tops Group 1

Worries over the durability of the Firestone alternates kept the drivers on primaries for the majority of the 12-minute Group 1 session, with Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power setting the fastest time on the primaries.

However, the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda of Felix Rosenqvist was the first car to nail a time on the alternates and went 0.45sec faster than Power’s benchmark time.

Power then blew his first attempt on the reds by skating down the Turn 7 escape road, and then got a bad exit off the penultimate turn on his second flyer, improving only marginally on his primary-tired run.

Thus teammate Newgarden topped Group 1 with a 1min14.8272sec ahead of Rosenqvist, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Zach Veach of Andretti Autosport and James Hinchcliffe in the #5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda.

Power was only sixth, therefore consigned to 12th when the qualifying groups were combined.

In Group 2, Dixon got within 0.1sec of Newgarden’s alternate tire using the primaries. Dixon’s first flyer on the reds produced a 1min14.5838sec to guarantee this group would produce the pole-winner but Rossi laid down a stunning 1min14.1989sec.

Dixon, having let his tires cool for a lap, tried to respond but grazed a wall and fell 0.2sec short, so will line up third for this afternoon’s race.

Colton Herta will start fifth for Harding Steinbrenner Racing after turning the third fastest time in Group 2 despite being called back to pits for a pitlane speed violation. His former Indy Lights rival Patricio O’Ward was fourth quickest in group and seventh on the grid for Carlin-Chevy.

Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud had a disappointing session, 1.2568sec off Rossi’s top time, and will start on the row behind teammate Power.

Leaders of each group get a point, so Newgarden has drawn level with Pagenaud in the championship, at least until this afternoon’s race starts at 3.50pm ET.

GRID

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 1'14.1989 114.018
2 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 1'14.8272 0.6283 113.060
3 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing 1'14.3995 0.2006 113.710
4 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 1'14.9984 0.7995 112.802
5 United States Colton Herta
Harding Racing 1'14.8811 0.6822 112.979
6 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport 1'15.1423 0.9434 112.586
7 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Carlin 1'15.0772 0.8783 112.684
8 United States Zach Veach
Andretti Autosport 1'15.1487 0.9498 112.577
9 Japan Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'15.3134 1.1145 112.331
10 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'15.1750 0.9761 112.537
11 United States Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'15.3945 1.1956 112.210
12 Australia Will Power
Team Penske 1'15.2111 1.0122 112.483
13 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 1'15.4557 1.2568 112.119
14 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 1'15.6341 1.4352 111.854
15 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'15.4811 1.2822 112.081
16 France Sébastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne Racing 1'15.6691 1.4702 111.803
17 United States Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter Racing 1'15.5621 1.3632 111.961
18 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport 1'15.8871 1.6882 111.481
19 United Kingdom Max Chilton
Carlin 1'16.0801 1.8812 111.199
20 Brazil Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'15.9628 1.7639 111.370
21 Brazil Tony Kanaan
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'16.6842 2.4853 110.323
22 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing 1'16.3830 2.1841 110.758

GROUP 1

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 7 1'14.8272 113.060
2 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'14.9984 0.1712 0.1712 112.802
3 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport 7 1'15.1423 0.3151 0.1439 112.586
4 United States Zach Veach
Andretti Autosport 7 1'15.1487 0.3215 0.0064 112.577
5 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 7 1'15.1750 0.3478 0.0263 112.537
6 Australia Will Power
Team Penske 8 1'15.2111 0.3839 0.0361 112.483
7 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 8 1'15.6341 0.8069 0.4230 111.854
8 France Sébastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne Racing 8 1'15.6691 0.8419 0.0350 111.803
9 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport 6 1'15.8871 1.0599 0.2180 111.481
10 Brazil Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 6 1'15.9628 1.1356 0.0757 111.370
11 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing 8 1'16.3830 1.5558 0.4202 110.758

GROUP 2

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 7 1'14.1989 114.018
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'14.3995 0.2006 0.2006 113.710
3 United States Colton Herta
Harding Racing 7 1'14.8811 0.6822 0.4816 112.979
4 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Carlin 7 1'15.0772 0.8783 0.1961 112.684
5 Japan Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 6 1'15.3134 1.1145 0.2362 112.331
6 United States Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 6 1'15.3945 1.1956 0.0811 112.210
7 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 8 1'15.4557 1.2568 0.0612 112.119
8 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 7 1'15.4811 1.2822 0.0254 112.081
9 United States Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter Racing 7 1'15.5621 1.3632 0.0810 111.961
10 United Kingdom Max Chilton
Carlin 7 1'16.0801 1.8812 0.5180 111.199
11 Brazil Tony Kanaan
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 7 1'16.6842 2.4853 0.6041 110.323
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