Rossi takes first-time IndyCar pole at Watkins Glen

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 3rd September, 2017 - 6:40am

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Alexander Rossi

Alexander Rossi has earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole in qualifying for the penultimate race of the season at Watkins Glen.

Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) snatched pole from Scott Dixon after the chequered flag by just 0.0529s, while Will Power missed the Firestone Fast 6 and will line up eighth on the grid.

Dixon (Chip Ganassi Honda) had been classified in first position when the clock timed out, with Josef Newgarden (Team Penske Chevrolet) just a single ten thousandth of a second slower.

The series leader might have surpassed the New Zealander, and probably done enough to beat Rossi’s later time, but got sideways when he put a wheel off track exiting Turn 9.

Instead it was Rossi who came around to go to the top, just a day after announcing his renewal with Andretti Autosport in a multi-year deal.

The top three all broke the track record which Dixon set in qualifying one year earlier.

Newgarden will share the second row with Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport Honda), while the third row consists of Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Honda) and Helio Castroneves (Team Penske Chevrolet).

Power (Team Penske Chevrolet) missed the Fast 6 by 0.1165s and will line up alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda), who qualified seventh.

Sebastien Bourdais’s (Dale Coyne Honda) second qualifying session in his return from injury yielded ninth, with Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) rounding out the top 10.

Simon Pagenaud was the fourth of the Penske cars in 12th.

Race start is Monday at 0340 AEST, with a distance of 60 laps to complete.

Qualifying: Grand Prix at The Glen

Pos Driver C/A/E/T Time Session
1 Alexander Rossi D/H/H/F 1:22.4639 Fast Six
2 Scott Dixon D/H/H/F 1:22.5168 Fast Six
3 Josef Newgarden D/C/C/F 1:22.5169 Fast Six
4 Takuma Sato D/H/H/F 1:22.5660 Fast Six
5 Charlie Kimball D/H/H/F 1:22.8081 Fast Six
6 Helio Castroneves D/C/C/F 1:23.3350 Fast Six
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/H/F 1:22.9854 Round 2
8 Will Power D/C/C/F 1:23.0987 Round 2
9 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/H/F 1:23.1459 Round 2
10 Graham Rahal D/H/H/F 1:23.2240 Round 2
11 Carlos Muñoz D/C/C/F 1:23.2959 Round 2
12 Simon Pagenaud D/C/C/F 1:23.2981 Round 2
13 Spencer Pigot D/C/C/F 1:23.4917 Round 1 / Group 1
14 Conor Daly D/C/C/F 1:23.5089 Round 1 / Group 2
15 Ed Jones (R) D/H/H/F 1:23.9851 Round 1 / Group 1
16 James Hinchcliffe D/H/H/F 1:23.6854 Round 1 / Group 2
17 Tony Kanaan D/H/H/F 1:23.9982 Round 1 / Group 1
18 Jack Harvey (R) D/H/H/F 1:24.1390 Round 1 / Group 2
19 Max Chilton D/H/H/F 1:24.2012 Round 1 / Group 1
20 Marco Andretti D/H/H/F 1:24.1779 Round 1 / Group 2
21 JR Hildebrand D/C/C/F 1:24.4543 Round 1 / Group 2

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone