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A service for automotive industry researchers · Thursday, September 20, 2018 · 462,516,866 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Front-Row Start for Dixon, Honda at Toronto

  • Scott Dixon qualifies second for Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto
  • Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay also advance to final qualifying round
  • Sporadic rain, changing track conditions challenge teams and drivers

Sporadic light rain showers and the resulting ever-changing track conditions threw constant challenges at Verizon IndyCar Series teams and drivers today in qualifying for Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto.  At the end of three rounds of frantic knockout qualifying, Scott Dixon qualified second fastest to lead the Honda field, and will start on the outside of the front row.

Light rain fell on the 1.786-mile Toronto street circuit shortly before the first round of knockout qualifying, then stopped midway through the session.  Just as quickly as it had started, the rain stopped midway through the first qualifying group, with Graham Rahal unable to advance despite being among the fastest in practice.

First Round, Group Two competitors found an almost dry track; and the circuit was completely dry for the second qualifying round, which saw the fastest qualifying times of the day.  Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay all advanced to "Fast Six" final qualifying, with the rain returning for the first few minutes of the brief, 10-minute session.

With the track drying and getting quicker in the final minutes, the top six grid positions were determined by everyone's final lap, with Josef Newgarden edging Dixon for the pole by 19-hundredths of a second.  Rossi will start fifth for Honda, with his Andretti Autosport teammate Hunter-Reay starting sixth.

Sunday's 85-lap race, the 12th round of the 2018 season, begin at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Second fastest in qualifying, will start on the outside of the front row: "I'm a bit disappointed with myself for not putting the PNC Bank car on pole. I feel bad for my team as well, as they gave me a car capable of doing it. I made a mistake in Turn 5 and that cost me a few tenths. All in all, it's not terrible starting on the front row, but when you know you had one and then let it get a way, it hurts a little bit."

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Fifth fastest in qualifying: "We were really strong in the first run when it was wet. I was feeling really good going into the Firestone Fast Six [final qualifying round]. With it being damp, but kind of dry, we just didn't have the pace for pole. I think the Honda contingent has been pretty strong all weekend, and our ability to drive has been pretty good as well, so that will help over the race distance."

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto Circuit: Exhibition Place (1.786-mile temporary street circuit), Toronto, Ont., Canada 2017 Winner: Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) 95.790 mph average Weather: Overcast, sporadic light rain, mild, 76 degrees F

Top-12 Qualifying Results:

Ps.

Driver      

Team

Manufacturer

Best Time

Notes

  1.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

   59.4956

108.068 mph [light rain]

  2.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

   59.6920

+0.1964 seconds

  3.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

   59.7630

Final Qualifying [light rain]

  4.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

   59.8818

Final Qualifying [light rain]

  5.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:00.6273

Final Qualifying [light rain]

  6.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:00.6615

Final Qualifying [light rain]

  7.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

   59.0712

2nd Round [drying track]

  8.

Jordan King-R

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

   59.0862

2nd Round [drying

  9.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

   59.1581

2nd Round [drying]

10.

Robert Wickens-R

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

   59.1705

2nd Round [drying]

11.

Conor Daly

Harding Racing

Chevrolet

   59.3133

2nd Round [drying]

12.

Matheus Leist-R

A.J. Foyt Racing

Chevrolet

   59.4518

2nd round [drying]

Other Honda Results

13.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:14.7769

1st Rd, Group 1 [rain]

14.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:00.1721

1st Rd, Group 2 [drying]

17.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan      

Honda

1:15.1429

1st Rd, Group 1 [rain]

21.

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing             

Honda

No time

Penalty for spin

22.

Zach Veach-R

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:00.5564

1st Rd, Group 2 [drying]

23.

Zachary Claman De Melo-R

Dale Coyne Racing                

Honda

1:00.6416

1st Rd, Group 2 [drying]

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