Alexander Rossi took pole position for IndyCar’s Long Beach Grand Prix for the second consecutive season, usurping Scott Dixon from the top of the timesheets late on.
Andretti Autosport driver Rossi, who won the race from pole last year, posted a time of 1m06.4811s on his third and final lap in the pole shootout, beating Dixon by over a quarter of a second.
Dixon aborted his final fast lap, despite being two tenths of a second up on his table-topping previous best at the time.
Will Power was third fastest in the ‘Fast Six’ pole qualifying session, 0.393s back from Rossi, and ahead of Penske team-mates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.
Graham Rahal was the final runner in the last qualifying session, 0.824s off the pace in sixth.
A red flag caused by series rookie Felix Rosenqvist proved costly for a number of high-profile drivers in the second part of qualifying. The Ganassi driver was in a position to comfortably advance into the ‘Fast Six’ but chose to have one more flying lap.
The decision backfired as he overshot Turn 9 at the end of the backstraight and hit the wall, bringing the session to an early end.
As a result Rosenqvist’s fastest time in the session was wiped, putting him down to 12th on the grid, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, Patricio O’Ward, and Colton Herta – who all had opportunities to post one more fast lap – were unable to complete final fast runs. They will start seventh, ninth, and 10th respectively, with Barber winner Takuma Sato among them in eighth.
It was a similar story in the first group of the first part of qualifying with Tony Kanaan bringing out the red flags after a hard hit into the wall at the Turn 6 left-hander.
The early end to the session cost James Hinchcliffe, Ed Jones and Marcus Ericsson a chance to improve on their previous best times and all will start towards the back of the field.
Sebastien Bourdais, who is also competing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship race immediately following IndyCar qualifying, was knocked out of the first part of qualifying by a late lap by Herta. Bourdais will line up 14th.
|1||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m06.4811s||–|
|2||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m06.7479s||0.2668s|
|3||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m06.8748s||0.3937s|
|4||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m06.9096s||0.4285s|
|5||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m07.1877s||0.7066s|
|6||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||1m07.3052s||0.8241s|
|7||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m07.1520s||–|
|8||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||1m07.2626s||–|
|10||Colton Herta||Harding Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m07.7721s||–|
|11||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta||Dallara/Honda||1m08.3746s||–|
|12||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m08.4410s||–|
|13||Santino Ferrucci||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m08.1008s||–|
|14||Sebastien Bourdais||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m07.3135s||–|
|15||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||1m08.1811s||–|
|17||Ed Jones||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m08.7711s||–|
|18||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m07.5287s||–|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||1m08.9516s||–|
|20||Matheus Leist||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m07.7317s||–|
|21||Tony Kanaan||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||3m22.3800s||–|
|22||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m07.7822s||–|
|23||Spencer Pigot||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m07.8763s||–|