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Andretti quickest as Honda entries dominate Indy 500 qualifying

James Pavey

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Sunday 16th August, 2020 - 8:26am

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Marco Andretti

Andretti Motorsport has continued to lead the way as veteran Marco Andretti carried over his Friday speed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to top Saturday qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

Having set the fastest pre-race practice time since 1996 on Friday, Andretti had pace to burn and ended Saturday’s qualifications with a four-lap average of 231.351 mph (372.323 km/h).

Honda-powered entries filled the top five positions, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (231.330 mph, 372.289 km/h), 2016 winner Alexander Rossi (231.268 mph, 372.189 km/h), Wednesday fast man James Hinchcliffe (231.195 mph, 372.072 km/h), and series leader Scott Dixon (231.155 mph, 372.007 km/h) all within striking distance.

The disparity between Honda and Chevrolet entries was further pronounced with sixth-placed Rinus Veekay the only Chevrolet runner in the top 12.

Alex Palou, Graham Rahal, and Takuma Sato rounded out the top nine ahead of Sunday’s fight for pole.

Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden was the highest placed Team Penske runner in 13th (230.296 mph, 370.625 km/h), with 2018 race winner Will Power down in 22nd.

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, who crashed on Thursday, could only manage 26th with a four-lap average of 228.768 mph, one place ahead of Australian James Davison (228.747 mph, 368.132 km/h).

Ben Hanley was slowest of all 33 runners (222.917 mph, 358.751 km/h).

Andretti was pleased to make his Friday pace count in qualifying, having run in the afternoon heat after most of the quick times were set in the opening 90 minutes.

“Man, when it all comes together it’s beautiful,” Andretti said.

“The balance was great. Honda brought it this year, so thanks to them, and now we’ve got to do it one more time tomorrow.”

The Fast 9 battle for pole will commence at 03:15 AEST on Monday (13:15 Sunday local time) following a 30-minute practice session at 01:00 AEST (11:00 local time).

All 33 cars will then return for another practice session at 15:30 local time, with engines returned to 1.3-bar boost and cars running race set-ups.

CLICK HERE for Qualifying results

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