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Andretti pips Dixon to Indy 500 pole position

James Pavey

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Monday 17th August, 2020 - 8:25am

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Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti continued his domination at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to qualify on pole position for next week’s Indy 500.

Andretti, who topped Friday practice and Saturday qualifying in his Honda-powered Andretti Autosport entry, pipped series leader Scott Dixon to claim his maiden pole position at the Brickyard.

The 33-year-old recorded a four-lap average of 231.068 mph (371.867 km/h) to knock off three-time Indy 500 pole-sitter Dixon (231.051 mph, 371.840 km/h).

It marks the first time an Andretti has taken pole for the Indy 500 since Marco’s grandfather, 1969 race winner Mario, qualified first in 1987, the year of Marco’s birth.

Andretti also clocked the fastest lap of the session with a 231.826 mph (373.088 km/h) effort. Andretti, like Dixon, also posted a 231 mph lap on his second lap, before a rapid fourth lap was enough to seal pole by just 0.017s.

Takuma Sato, the 2017 race winner, impressed in securing third (230.725 mph, 371.316 km/h) ahead of Dutch rookie Rinus VeeKay (230.704 mph, 371.282km/h), who was the top Chevrolet runner in fourth.

Sunday’s fight for pole saw a relative slump for the Andretti squad, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (fifth), James Hinchcliffe (sixth) and Alexander Rossi (ninth) all dropping down after locking out the top four on Saturday.

Alex Palou (seventh) and Graham Rahal (eighth) completed the Fast 9 runners. Palou hit 240 mph twice during his run, but lost pace over his final two laps.

However, it was Andretti who retained his top form, having turned the fastest laps on Friday and Saturday in a run which included the quickest pre-race practice time since Arie Luyendyk’s 1996 flyer.

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