Pagenaud takes Toronto IndyCar pole, Power 15th

Simon Pagenaud

Simon Pagenaud scored pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto race as Scott Dixon spun on his last qualifying run.

Pagenaud, the 2017 Toronto pole-sitter, set a blistering 58.4239s to secure the top spot in the #22 Team Penske Chevrolet.

Dixon looked untouchable in the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, throwing down the gauntlet early.

However, on his final run, Dixon was loose out of Turn 2 and ended up facing the wrong direction.

The Kiwi finished the session in second, 0.1655s away from Pagenaud, though admitted he has been suffering with an elbow injury since Texas.

“I feel like that could have been the lap had I finished it but it’s been a tough weekend as I said,” remarked Dixon.

“This second-place start for us last year worked really well and we were able to come through with the win.

“It’s been a bit of a nightmare (the injury), I got it kind of the week of Texas on the sim I think and then had it all the way through Le Mans and then Road America was actually really bad in the race.

“So we’ve been trying to do some therapy with it and trying to help it but this elbow, man, it’s not an easy fix; it might be an off season project but we’ll see.”

Alexander Rossi also touched the wall in Turn 6, losing some time and finishing in fourth, though the Andretti Autosport Honda driver was frustrated at the end of the session, feeling like he could have been further up the order.

While both Felix Rosenqvist (#10 Chip Ganassi Honda) and Josef Newgarden (#2 Team Penske Chevrolet) also had moments during the Fast Six qualifying, rookie Rosenqvist managed a 58.6793s to nab third on the grid while the latter, who qualified fastest in Canada in 2018, will start in fifth.

Will Power failed to advance past the group stages for the first time since Long Beach 2015.

The Australian will start 15th, citing an issue with the gear shift in the #12 Penske car.

Earlier in the day, a pitlane scuffle broke out after Practice 3 between Takuma Sato and Sebastien Bourdais.

Bourdais (#18 DCR w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda) had overtaken Sato (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) on the out lap with the Japanese driver attempting to baulk the Frenchmen.

At the close of the session Sato met Bourdais at his pit box where the two had a heated exchange that was broken up by the Dale Coyne team members.

The four-time champion will start just ahead of Sato tomorrow, when they take up the eighth and 10th grid spots respectively.

The 85-lap race on the streets of Toronto will go green Monday at 0530 AEST.

Starting grid: Toronto

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Time Session
1 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F 58.4293 Fast Six
2 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 58.5948 Fast Six
3 10 Felix Rosenqvist (R) D/H/F 58.6793 Fast Six
4 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 58.9215 Fast Six
5 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 59.3103 Fast Six
6 20 Ed Jones D/C/F 59.5353 Fast Six
7 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F 58.7663 Top 12
8 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F 58.7781 Top 12
9 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F 58.8221 Top 12
10 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F 58.9110 Top 12
11 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F 59.0444 Top 12
12 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 59.0985 Top 12
13 59 Max Chilton D/C/F 59.4811 Group 1
14 5 James Hinchcliffe D/H/F 58.9293 Group 2
15 12 Will Power D/C/F 59.5508 Group 1
16 88 Colton Herta (R) D/H/F 59.0549 Group 2
17 19 Santino Ferrucci (R) D/H/F 59.9761 Group 1
18 26 Zach Veach D/H/F 59.2890 Group 2
19 4 Matheus Leist D/C/F 1:00.1853 Group 1
20 7 Marcus Ericsson (R) D/H/F 59.6299 Group 2
21 31 Sage Karam D/C/F 1:01.1134 Group 1
22 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F 59.7317 Group 2

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

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