Portland IndyCar: Bourdais goes fastest in FP3, then shunts

Sebastien Bourdais topped the final practice session for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Portland, but on his very next lap he shunted hard exiting Turn 9 where the car appeared to bottom out and spun off the track and into a tire wall.

Portland IndyCar: Bourdais goes fastest in FP3, then shunts

The 2007 Portland GP winner was able to step out of his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda unaided after his 135mph shunt, but the session around the 1.964-mile road course was brought to a premature halt.

Bourdais’ best lap was 0.0435sec faster than that of his 2007 teammate Graham Rahal, as the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Hondas bounced back from a mediocre Friday to finish second and fifth (Takuma Sato), in a session littered with minor mistakes.

Pietro Fittipaldi was the first to make a noticeable error, taking a trip through the Turn 1 escape road, while James Hinchcliffe at the start of a flying lap made it through Turn 1, but he clipped the apex of the chicane ‘triangle’, Turn 2, just a little too hard and couldn’t catch the tail of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda before it ran off the road at Turn 3 and struck the tire wall. That inevitably caused a red flag, and following the crew’s attempts to make a repair on pitlane, the car was towed back to the paddock.

Sato and Will Power (Team Penske-Chevrolet) also had minor off-course excursions into the grass, with Power also exploring the Turn 1 runoff through the chicane, and AJ Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist doing the same a few minutes later.

Towards the end of the session, Max Chilton spun his Carlin Racing-Chevy through Turn 1, Fittipaldi visited on the sand and grass, and Alexander Rossi also tripped the wrong way through Turns 1-3 but was able to finish the session in fourth. That was just behind Power who finally strung three strong sectors together to end up a mere 0.08sec behind Bourdais, and 0.037 off Rahal.

Cla # Driver Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 18 France Sébastien Bourdais 19 57.4707     123.026
2 15 United States Graham Rahal 24 57.5142 0.0435 0.0435 122.933
3 12 Australia Will Power 18 57.5508 0.0801 0.0366 122.855
4 27 United States Alexander Rossi 22 57.6229 0.1522 0.0721 122.701
5 30 Japan Takuma Sato 22 57.6760 0.2053 0.0531 122.588
6 21 United States Spencer Pigot 21 57.6791 0.2084 0.0031 122.582
7 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay 18 57.6831 0.2124 0.0040 122.573
8 98 United States Marco Andretti 21 57.7443 0.2736 0.0612 122.443
9 1 United States Josef Newgarden 20 57.7873 0.3166 0.0430 122.352
10 26 United States Zach Veach 19 57.8555 0.3848 0.0682 122.208
11 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon 20 57.8563 0.3856 0.0008 122.206
12 20 United Kingdom Jordan King 20 57.8710 0.4003 0.0147 122.175
13 39 United States Santino Ferrucci 24 57.8727 0.4020 0.0017 122.172
14 10 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones 21 57.8754 0.4047 0.0027 122.166
15 6 Colombia Carlos Munoz 18 57.8869 0.4162 0.0115 122.142
16 88 Colombia Gabby Chaves 22 57.9262 0.4555 0.0393 122.059
17 19 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi 21 58.0483 0.5776 0.1221 121.802
18 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey 19 58.0588 0.5881 0.0105 121.780
19 22 France Simon Pagenaud 21 58.1346 0.6639 0.0758 121.621
20 4 Brazil Matheus Leist 25 58.2857 0.8150 0.1511 121.306
21 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan 18 58.2998 0.8291 0.0141 121.277
22 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton 21 58.4085 0.9378 0.1087 121.051
23 23 United States Charlie Kimball 23 58.4342 0.9635 0.0257 120.998
24 32 Mexico Alfonso Celis Jr. 25 58.6492 1.1785 0.2150 120.554
25 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe 3 1'00.6047 3.1340 1.9555 116.664

Spencer Pigot did a great job in the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy to wind up sixth, ahead of three Andretti cars and the second of the Penskes, that of Josef Newgarden.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s points leader, was only 11th, ahead of Jordan King and series returnee Santino Ferrucci in a third Dale Coyne Racing-Honda. Fittipaldi was only 17th but two places ahead of the third Penske of Simon Pagenaud, who remains struggling with his car’s ‘loose’ rear end that is almost a prerequisite to be fast around this course.

Ed Jones had to park 10 minutes early on IndyCar’s orders, as punishment for him striking King’s Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet during pitstop practice yesterday following FP2.

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