Newgarden on pole in changeable weather
Josef Newgarden has qualified on pole for the Honda Indy Toronto after mastering the wet-dry conditions in Exhibition Place.
Newgarden denied Friday pace-setter Scott Dixon top spot on the starting grid, while Simon Pagenaud and Will Power made for a Team Penske one-three-four.
Rain left the Toronto streets wet for the start of qualifying but the circuit had dried enough by the time Round 2 took place that Dixon broke the outright lap record with a 58.5546s.
Sprinkling rain for the Firestone Fast Six saw the pace fall away again, with Newgarden taking the #1 Team Penske Chevrolet to the top with a 59.4956s at the very end.
Dixon was 0.1964s slower after a moment on a wet patch in the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“I’m a bit disappointed at myself for not putting the PNC Bank car on pole position,” said Dixon.
“I feel bad for my team as well, as they gave me a car capable of doing it. I made a mistake in Turn 5 and that cost me a few tenths.
“All in all, it’s not terrible starting on the front row, but when you know you had one and then let it get away, it hurts a little bit.”
Behind the Row 2 Team Penske lockout of Pagenaud (#22 Chevrolet) and Power (#12 Chevrolet) is a Row 3 Andretti Autosport lockout of Alexander Rossi (#27 Honda) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (#28 Honda).
Takuma Sato (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda), Jordan King (#20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet), James Hinchcliffe (#5 Schmidt Peterson Honda), and Robert Wickens (#6 Schmidt Peterson Honda), rounded out the top 10.
Conor Daly, who is driving the #88 Harding Racing Chevrolet in place of Gabby Chaves what the team says is a trial for a potential second car in 2019, ended up 11th.
Other notables were Marco Andretti (#98 Andretti-Herta w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda) in 14th and Sebastien Bourdais (#18 DCR w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda) in 17th.
The 12th race of the Verizon IndyCar Series, to be run over 85 laps, starts at 0535 AEST.
Starting grid: Toronto
|1||1||Josef Newgarden||D/C/F||59.4956||Fast Six|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||D/H/F||59.6920||Fast Six|
|3||22||Simon Pagenaud||D/C/F||59.7630||Fast Six|
|4||12||Will Power||D/C/F||59.8818||Fast Six|
|5||27||Alexander Rossi||D/H/F||1:00.6273||Fast Six|
|6||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||D/H/F||1:00.6615||Fast Six|
|7||30||Takuma Sato||D/H/F||59.0712||Round 2 / Top 12|
|8||20||Jordan King (R)||D/C/F||59.0862||Round 2 / Top 12|
|9||5||James Hinchcliffe||D/H/F||59.1581||Round 2 / Top 12|
|10||6||Robert Wickens (R)||D/H/F||59.1705||Round 2 / Top 12|
|11||88||Conor Daly||D/C/F||59.3133||Round 2 / Top 12|
|12||4||Matheus Leist (R)||D/C/F||59.4528||Round 2 / Top 12|
|13||15||Graham Rahal||D/H/F||1:14.7769||Round 1 / Group 1|
|14||98||Marco Andretti||D/H/F||1:00.1721||Round 1 / Group 2|
|15||14||Tony Kanaan||D/C/F||1:14.9691||Round 1 / Group 1|
|16||21||Spencer Pigot||D/C/F||1:00.1838||Round 1 / Group 2|
|17||18||Sebastien Bourdais||D/H/F||1:15.1429||Round 1 / Group 1|
|18||59||Max Chilton||D/C/F||1:00.2694||Round 1 / Group 2|
|19||32||Rene Binder (R)||D/C/F||1:15.8928||Round 1 / Group 1|
|20||23||Charlie Kimball||D/C/F||1:00.4313||Round 1 / Group 2|
|21||10||Ed Jones||D/H/F||No Time||Round 1 / Group 1|
|22||26||Zach Veach (R)||D/H/F||1:00.5564||Round 1 / Group 2|
|23||19||Zachary Claman DeMelo (R)||D/H/F||1:00.6416||Round 1 / Group 2|
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone