Detroit IndyCar: Rossi top as Pagenaud wall-brush halts FP2 early
Alexander Rossi topped second practice for IndyCar’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle, but Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud halted the session by smacking a wall.
Rossi’s Andretti Autosport-Honda had jumped half a second clear of the first front-runner to set a strong time on alternate compound tires, Josef Newgarden, when Newgarden’s Penske-Chevrolet teammate Pagenaud struck a wall with his left-rear tire and ground to a halt on track with a broken toelink.
Rossi’s 1min15.1367sec lap thus remained top, 0.5274sec clear of Newgarden, with Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda and Will Power of Penske the only other drivers to break the 76sec barrier.
Graham Rahal, double 2017 winner here, was fifth ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in a second Andretti car, with Spencer Pigot (Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy), James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport-Honda), Pagenaud and Ed Jones (ECR) completing the Top 10.
Marcus Ericsson was fastest of the rookies in the second Arrow SPM car in 11th.
Saturday morning’s qualifying session will be the first track action for the NTT IndyCar Series.
The Detroit Grand Prix is the only event of the season where the grids for the first and second races are decided by morning qualifying sessions that run as two groups of 11 whose times are then combined. Whoever is fastest will start from pole and those in his group will occupy the right side of the grid, the fastest in the second group will lead the left-side of the grid.
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