Barber IndyCar: Sato takes pole, leads RLLR 1-2

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Barber IndyCar: Sato takes pole, leads RLLR 1-2
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Apr 6, 2019, 9:21 PM

Takuma Sato took his eighth career IndyCar pole position, leading teammate Graham Rahal to a Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda sweep of the front row at Barber Motorsports Park.

Sato started the Firestone Fast Six shootout on primary-compound tires, but switched to the alternate compound for a single flying lap. His 68.593sec was enough to edge teammate Rahal by 0.1037sec and clock a 120.711mph lap of the 2.3-mile course.

Scott Dixon manhandled his Chip Ganass Racing-Honda to third, little more than two-tenths off Sato and only 0.0395sec ahead of James Hinchcliffe in the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda.

Sebastien Bourdais’ Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan-Honda will start fifth, alongside the fastest Chevrolet runner, Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet.

That selection of runners means that for the first time since Long Beach five years ago, no Team Penske-Chevrolets made the Firestone Fast Six.

Will Power, who started the first two races of the year from pole position, will start seventh, after making a small mistake on his first flyer and aborting the lap – a decision he came to regret, having taken the edge off the red alternate tires so his second lap was not quite enough to transfer. He will be joined on the fourth row by Alexander Rossi, fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Hondas.

Colton Herta, rookie winner of the last round at Circuit of The Americas, will start ninth in the Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda alongside fellow rookie Santino Ferrucci in the second Dale Coyne Racing-Honda and ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti) and Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing SPM-Honda).

Surprise exclusions in Q1 included the other two Penske-Chevrolets of Simon Pagenaud and championship leader Josef Newgarden, which will roll off 14th and 16th tomorrow, and Felix Rosenqvist in the second Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda.

Patricio O’Ward will start 18th, ahead of Carlin-Chevrolet teammate Max Chilton, while Ed Jones was disappointingly off Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy teammate Spencer Pigot in Q1.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda’s Marcus Ericsson will start only 20th, but did well to recover from his morning shunt to lap less than 0.15sec slower than teammate Hinchcliffe in Q1 Group 2.

The AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolets of Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist went straight out on the alternate compound tires in Q1 Group 1, and immediately turned impressive times, but all that served to do was flag up that Firestone’s fresher set of reds – as opposed to yesterday’s ‘old’ batch – would produce the better times. That brought all their rivals – bar Rossi – into the pits to switch from primaries to alternate compound rubber, and bumped the Foyt cars out of a transfer spot.

Firestone Fast Six

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 4 1'08.5934     120.711
2 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 3 1'08.6971 0.1037 0.1037 120.529
3 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 4 1'08.8081 0.2147 0.1110 120.335
4 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 3 1'08.8476 0.2542 0.0395 120.266
5 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 2 1'09.0189 0.4255 0.1713 119.967
6 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 4 1'09.6074 1.0140 0.5885 118.953

Q2

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 5 1'08.4074     121.040
2 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 5 1'08.5951 0.1877 0.1877 120.708
3 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 5 1'08.6123 0.2049 0.0172 120.678
4 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 5 1'08.6234 0.2160 0.0111 120.659
5 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 6 1'08.6996 0.2922 0.0762 120.525
6 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 6 1'08.7860 0.3786 0.0864 120.373
7 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 5 1'08.8248 0.4174 0.0388 120.305
8 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 5 1'08.8866 0.4792 0.0618 120.198
9 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 5 1'08.9130 0.5056 0.0264 120.151
10 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 6 1'09.0213 0.6139 0.1083 119.963
11 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 5 1'09.0764 0.6690 0.0551 119.867
12 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 4 1'09.2967 0.8893 0.2203 119.486

Q1 Group 2

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 5 1'08.4996     120.877
2 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 6 1'08.5104 0.0108 0.0108 120.858
3 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 6 1'08.5397 0.0401 0.0293 120.806
4 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 6 1'08.6872 0.1876 0.1475 120.546
5 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 5 1'08.7171 0.2175 0.0299 120.494
6 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 6 1'08.7545 0.2549 0.0374 120.428
7 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 6 1'08.7943 0.2947 0.0398 120.359
8 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 6 1'08.8700 0.3704 0.0757 120.227
9 31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United Kingdom Carlin 7 1'08.9011 0.4015 0.0311 120.172
10 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 6 1'08.9226 0.4230 0.0215 120.135
11 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 6 1'09.0566 0.5570 0.1340 119.902
12 81 United Kingdom Ben Hanley DragonSpeed 6 1'10.4165 1.9169 1.3599 117.586

Q1 Group 1

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 6 1'08.3548     121.133
2 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 6 1'08.3762 0.0214 0.0214 121.095
3 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'08.5672 0.2124 0.1910 120.757
4 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'08.5930 0.2382 0.0258 120.712
5 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 6 1'08.8013 0.4465 0.2083 120.347
6 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 6 1'08.8605 0.5057 0.0592 120.243
7 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 4 1'08.8950 0.5402 0.0345 120.183
8 4 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 6 1'08.9477 0.5929 0.0527 120.091
9 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 6 1'08.9630 0.6082 0.0153 120.064
10 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 5 1'09.0327 0.6779 0.0697 119.943
11 20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Ed Carpenter Racing 6 1'09.0441 0.6893 0.0114 119.923
12 26 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 6 1'09.4478 1.0930 0.4037 119.226
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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Birmingham
Drivers Graham Rahal , Takuma Sato
Teams Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Author David Malsher