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Rossi takes comfortable victory in Long Beach

Speedcafe.com

Monday 15th April, 2019 - 9:55am

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Alexander Rossi

Alexander Rossi has taken a 20-second victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, ahead of Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon.

Rossi survived early attacks from Dixon to lead 80 of the 85 laps and become the fourth different winner in four races this IndyCar season, while Will Power grafted to seventh after an overboost drama and an off.

The top four on the grid held position when the green flag flew for the first time, despite Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) trying to fashion a move on the pole-sitting #27 Andretti Autosport Honda.

After an early Caution for an incident between Spencer Pigot (#21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet), Marcus Ericsson (#7 Schmidt Peterson Honda), and Jack Harvey (#60 Meyer-Shank w/ SPM Honda), Dixon had another crack at Rossi on the Lap 5 restart but again had to get back into file.

Rossi started on new alternate compound tyres and gapped Dixon, on used alternates, to the tune of around seven seconds shortly before each pitted for a first time on Lap 26 and switched to primary tyres.

Power, who qualified third, therefore inherited held the lead for a couple of laps before emerging in front of Dixon, only for Newgarden (#2 Team Penske Chevrolet) to jump them both in the cycle having run fourth until the pit stops began.

After being held up by traffic, Power then experienced overboost at the hairpin on Lap 33 which caused his #12 Team Penske Chevrolet to bog down and Dixon got alongside.

The Queenslander braked deep on the Kiwi’s outside at Turn 1 but that was too deep and he ran long into the run-off, dropping from third to eighth.

Rossi and Dixon took their second and final pit stops on Lap 56 but the latter dumped a pile of time due to a problem connecting the fuel hose.

The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner continued to lead comfortably from Newgarden, who retained second having stopped on Lap 57.

Graham Rahal, who gained a position at the start to run fifth, and another courtesy of Power’s moment, found himself third in the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda, ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay (#28 Andretti Autosport Honda) and Dixon.

Rossi and Newgarden had lonely races thereafter, aside from the former encountering a backmarker, but Dixon passed a fuel-starved Hunter-Reay on Lap 82.

Third position went down to a final lap dice between Rahal and Dixon which was ultimately resolved by officials.

Rahal pinched a brake into Turn 8 and moved left to block Dixon on the next straight, causing the Ganassi driver to touch the right-rear tyre on Car #15.

Their positions on-track remained unchanged but they were switched shortly after the finish.

Hunter-Reay survived in fifth ahead of Simon Pagenaud (#22 Team Penske Chevrolet) and Power.

Last start winner Takuma Sato (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) was eighth, from James Hinchcliffe (#5 Schmidt Peterson Honda) and Felix Rosenqvist (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda).

Newgarden leads Rossi by 28 points at the top of the table as the series moves to Indianapolis, firstly for a race around the road course on May 10-11 (local time).

Race results: Long Beach

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Race time/Split Pit stops Status Grid pos
1 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 1:41:35.5999 2 Running 1
2 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F +20.2359 2 Running 4
3 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F +25.5745 2 Running 2
4 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F +26.4589 2 Running 6
5 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F +29.3447 2 Running 7
6 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F +31.5193 2 Running 5
7 12 Will Power D/C/F +33.0529 2 Running 3
8 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F +34.2879 2 Running 8
9 5 James Hinchcliffe D/H/F +40.4643 2 Running 15
10 10 Felix Rosenqvist (R) D/H/F +41.3241 2 Running 12
11 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F +49.9110 2 Running 14
12 31 Patricio O’Ward (R) D/C/F +1 lap 2 Running 9
13 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F +1 lap 2 Running 11
14 59 Max Chilton D/C/F +1 lap 2 Running 16
15 4 Matheus Leist D/C/F +1 lap 3 Running 20
16 20 Ed Jones D/C/F +1 lap 3 Running 17
17 26 Zach Veach D/H/F +1 lap 3 Running 22
18 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F +1 lap 3 Running 23
19 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F +2 laps 3 Running 21
20 7 Marcus Ericsson (R) D/H/F +2 laps 4 Running 19
21 19 Santino Ferrucci (R) D/H/F +2 laps 2 Running 13
22 60 Jack Harvey D/H/F +3 laps 4 Running 18
23 88 Colton Herta (R) D/H/F +35 laps 1 Contact 10

Race winner: 85 laps
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Josef Newgarden 166
2 Alexander Rossi 138
3 Scott Dixon 133
4 Takuma Sato 116
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 96
6 Will Power 93
7 James Hinchcliffe 93
8 Sebastien Bourdais 91
9 Graham Rahal 90
10 Colton Herta 88
11 Simon Pagenaud 87
12 Felix Rosenqvist 80
13 Marco Andretti 78
14 Jack Harvey 65
15 Spencer Pigot 63
16 Marcus Ericsson 61
17 Patricio O’Ward 56
18 Santino Ferrucci 56
19 Tony Kanaan 56
20 Zach Veach 55
21 Ed Jones 50
22 Max Chilton 47
23 Matheus Leist 46
24 Ben Hanley 21
25 Charlie Kimball 13
26 Kyle Kaiser 12

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