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Toronto IndyCar: Pagenaud takes pole, rivals spin and struggle

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Toronto IndyCar: Pagenaud takes pole, rivals spin and struggle
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Reigning Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud did exactly as he threatened to do over the past two practice sessions, nailing pole position for Team Penske-Chevrolet, as rivals Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Josef Newgarden spun and/or brushed walls.

Pagenaud nailed a 58.4293sec lap – an average of 110.041mph around the 1.786-mile street course to beat Dixon by 0.1655sec as Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s reigning champion and defending Toronto winner spun at the start of what would have been his final flyer.

Dixon’s teammate, rookie Felix Rosenqvist, was a mere 0.0845sec short of nailing P2, Rossi was furious with himself for brushing a wall at Turn 6 on his final run and finishing the session only fourth.

He nonetheless starts ahead of championship leader Josef Newgarden who fell 0.88sec short of his Penske teammate Pagenaud before smacking the wall out of the exit of Turn 11 and bending a right-rear toelink. He will start on the third row beside the session’s biggest positive surprise, Ed Jones in the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

Marco Andretti produced his best qualifying lap of the year to grab seventh and outqualify two-time Toronto winner Sebastien Bourdais in the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda with Vasser-Sullivan, both Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Hondas and his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay – another former Toronto winner.

The disappointment for the local crowd was that James Hinchcliffe was consigned to the seventh row of the grid having failed by 0.04sec to make the top six in Q1 Group 2, although it was impressive that he managed to outpace Colton Herta’s Harding Steinbrenner-Honda.

But the most surprising elimination at Q1 stage was 56-time IndyCar polesitter Will Power who had taken over Penske teammate Pagenaud’s softer setup for the bumpy track but was 0.8sec off Rosenqvist’s pacesetting time in that session. He reported to NBC Sports Network that he had also suffered gearshift issues, but that the main problem was setup. It’s the first time Power has missed the top dozen on a road/street course in over four years.

Marcus Ericsson in the second Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda, who had also suffered a nightmarish Friday morning session, slapped the wall while still on primary tires, sending him crabbing down the straight and out of contention.

Q3 Firestone Fast Six

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 4 58.4293 110.041
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing 4 58.5948 0.1655 0.1655 109.730
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 3 58.6793 0.2500 0.0845 109.572
4 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 5 58.9215 0.4922 0.2422 109.121
5 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 4 59.3103 0.8810 0.3888 108.406
6 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 3 59.5353 1.1060 0.2250 107.996

Q2

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 8 58.4129 110.072
2 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 8 58.4685 0.0556 0.0556 109.967
3 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing 8 58.5061 0.0932 0.0376 109.896
4 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 8 58.5360 0.1231 0.0299 109.840
5 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 8 58.5896 0.1767 0.0536 109.740
6 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 7 58.6305 0.2176 0.0409 109.663
7 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport 7 58.7663 0.3534 0.1358 109.410
8 France Sébastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne Racing 7 58.7781 0.3652 0.0118 109.388
9 United States Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter Racing 7 58.8221 0.4092 0.0440 109.306
10 Japan Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 58.9110 0.4981 0.0889 109.141
11 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport 5 59.0444 0.6315 0.1334 108.894
12 United States Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 59.0985 0.6856 0.0541 108.795

Q1 Group 2

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 8 58.6011 109.718
2 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 8 58.7174 0.1163 0.1163 109.501
3 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 7 58.7507 0.1496 0.0333 109.439
4 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport 7 58.7543 0.1532 0.0036 109.432
5 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 8 58.8200 0.2189 0.0657 109.310
6 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing 8 58.8897 0.2886 0.0697 109.180
7 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 8 58.9293 0.3282 0.0396 109.107
8 United States Colton Herta
Harding Racing 8 59.0549 0.4538 0.1256 108.875
9 United States Zach Veach
Andretti Autosport 6 59.2890 0.6879 0.2341 108.445
10 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 4 59.6299 1.0288 0.3409 107.825
11 Brazil Tony Kanaan
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 7 59.7317 1.1306 0.1018 107.641

Q1 Group 1

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 8 58.7306 109.476
2 France Sébastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne Racing 8 59.0743 0.3437 0.3437 108.839
3 United States Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 59.1497 0.4191 0.0754 108.700
4 United States Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter Racing 8 59.2448 0.5142 0.0951 108.526
5 Japan Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 59.2877 0.5571 0.0429 108.447
6 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport 7 59.4301 0.6995 0.1424 108.188
7 United Kingdom Max Chilton
Carlin 7 59.4811 0.7505 0.0510 108.095
8 Australia Will Power
Team Penske 8 59.5508 0.8202 0.0697 107.968
9 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing 7 59.9761 1.2455 0.4253 107.203
10 Brazil Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 3 1'00.1853 1.4547 0.2092 106.830
11 United States Sage Karam
Carlin 8 1'01.1134 2.3828 0.9281 105.208
Toronto IndyCar: Pagenaud leads third practice as rookies shine

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Toronto
Author David Malsher-Lopez