Long Beach IndyCar: Alexander Rossi repeats 2018 pole for Andretti

Dominik Wilde
Autosport
Rossi on Long Beach pole for second straight year
Rossi on Long Beach pole for second straight year

Alexander Rossi took pole position for IndyCar's Long Beach Grand Prix for the second consecutive season, usurping Scott Dixon from the top of the timesheets late on.

Andretti Autosport driver Rossi, who won the race from pole last year, posted a time of 1m06.4811s on his third and final lap in the pole shootout, beating Dixon by over a quarter of a second.

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Dixon aborted his final fast lap, despite being two tenths of a second up on his table-topping previous best at the time.

Will Power was third fastest in the 'Fast Six' pole qualifying session, 0.393s back from Rossi, and ahead of Penske team-mates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.

Graham Rahal was the final runner in the last qualifying session, 0.824s off the pace in sixth.

A red flag caused by series rookie Felix Rosenqvist proved costly for a number of high-profile drivers in the second part of qualifying. The Ganassi driver was in a position to comfortably advance into the 'Fast Six' but chose to have one more flying lap.

The decision backfired as he overshot Turn 9 at the end of the backstraight and hit the wall, bringing the session to an early end.

Rossi on Long Beach pole for second straight year
Rossi on Long Beach pole for second straight year

As a result Rosenqvist's fastest time in the session was wiped, putting him down to 12th on the grid, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, Patricio O'Ward, and Colton Herta - who all had opportunities to post one more fast lap - were unable to complete final fast runs. They will start seventh, ninth, and 10th respectively, with Barber winner Takuma Sato among them in eighth.

It was a similar story in the first group of the first part of qualifying with Tony Kanaan bringing out the red flags after a hard hit into the wall at the Turn 6 left-hander.

The early end to the session cost James Hinchcliffe, Ed Jones and Marcus Ericsson a chance to improve on their previous best times and all will start towards the back of the field.

Sebastien Bourdais, who is also competing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship race immediately following IndyCar qualifying, was knocked out of the first part of qualifying by a late lap by Herta. Bourdais will line up 14th.

Starting grid

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Time

Gap

1

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m06.4811s

-

2

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m06.7479s

0.2668s

3

Will Power

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m06.8748s

0.3937s

4

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m06.9096s

0.4285s

5

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m07.1877s

0.7066s

6

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

1m07.3052s

0.8241s

7

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m07.1520s

-

8

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

1m07.2626s

-

9

Patricio O'Ward

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m07.2764s

-

10

Colton Herta

Harding Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m07.7721s

-

11

Marco Andretti

Andretti Herta

Dallara/Honda

1m08.3746s

-

12

Felix Rosenqvist

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m08.4410s

-

13

Santino Ferrucci

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m08.1008s

-

14

Sebastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m07.3135s

-

15

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

1m08.1811s

-

16

Max Chilton

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m07.4577s

-

17

Ed Jones

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m08.7711s

-

18

Jack Harvey

Meyer Shank Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m07.5287s

-

19

Marcus Ericsson

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

1m08.9516s

-

20

Matheus Leist

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m07.7317s

-

21

Tony Kanaan

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

3m22.3800s

-

22

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m07.7822s

-

23

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m07.8763s

-


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