Detroit IndyCar: Newgarden takes pole, Ferrucci shunts

Josef Newgarden brought some joy to Team Penske-Chevrolet this weekend with the 12th pole position of his career, but Santino Ferrucci drilled the concrete with the front-left corner of his Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda.

Q1, Group 1

Scott McLaughlin, Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and Oliver Askew – substituting for the injured Felix Rosenqvist in the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet – went straight out on Firestone’s softer red compounds, as the drivers had already discovered they took longer than usual to come up to temperature. Their rivals swiftly followed suit.

Colton Herta’s Andretti Autosport-Honda set the best time of the segment, with a 1min16.0809sec – 111.197mph around the 2.35-mile Belle Isle course – ahead of Graham Rahal’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda), Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Josef Newgarden, the third RLL entry of Santino Ferrucci and Ed Jones of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda.

Surprises who didn’t make it through were two-time Detroit winner Sebastien Bourdais (AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti) and one of the stars of yesterday’s race, Takuma Sato (RLL).

Less surprising was that Askew was last, having had no preparation as last-minute sub. The 2019 Indy Lights champion was wearing Juan Pablo Montoya’s firesuit and Alex Palou’s race boots.

Q1 Group 2

Alexander Rossi’s fastest time in Group 2 was a 1min15.4664sec, 0.12sec ahead of Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing, yesterday’s raceday runner-up. His teammate Conor Daly also made it through to Q2 after an anonymous Saturday, as did Romain Grosjean of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda, Simon Pagenaud in the Team Penske-Chevy and Alex Palou who had started Saturday’s race from the back.

Pato O’Ward didn’t make it through because he struck the wall with his left-rear, Will Power who should have won yesterday didn’t graduate because he thought he had time for one more flyer, only to receive the checkered flag, and Marcus Ericsson who did win yesterday also failed to advance.

Q2

With there being no Firestone Fast Six segment at Detroit, the all-important top 12 session got underway with some drivers on used reds to do their sighting laps, some on primaries.

Ferrucci put his RLL-Honda on top with a 1min15.5sec on primaries, but Palou snipped a tenth off that – also on primaries – let his tires cool for a lap and then delivered a 1min15.0244sec.

However, Newgarden laid down a 1min14.1094sec on reds that was 0.3206sec faster than Herta’s best – also on reds. A further three-tenths down, was Dixon (primaries) ahead of VeeKay, Palou, and Grosjean. However, Ferrucci caused a red flag after shunting hard into the concrete on the final turn of his final flyer, ripping off his front-left corner, and so lost his two best times and will start 12th.

That red flag also meant some drivers completed their final flyers under red, so those times were deleted. That meant VeeKay and Palou have been moved up to third and fourth, while Grosjean and Dixon will start on the third row.

Alexander Rossi was a disappointing seventh, but ahead of Daly, Rahal, Pagenaud and Jones.

 

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 1'14.109 114.156
2 United States Colton Herta
Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 1'14.430 0.320 113.664
3 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'14.818 0.708 113.074
4 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'14.843 0.733 113.036
5 France Romain Grosjean
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'14.906 0.796 112.942
6 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'14.923 0.813 112.916
7 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 1'15.352 1.243 112.272
8 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'15.416 1.306 112.177
9 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'15.418 1.309 112.174
10 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 1'15.529 1.420 112.009
11 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 1'15.947 1.838 111.392
12 United States Santino Ferrucci
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'16.114 2.005 111.148

 

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