Honda Qualifying Report: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 21, 2018) – Sebastien Bourdais, winner of the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, led the way for Honda today in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying, and will start Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama from the inside of the second row, third.

Bourdais will share the second row of the starting grid at Barber Motorsports Park with fourth-qualifying Ryan Hunter-Reay. James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon also advanced to the Firestone Fast Six final qualifying round, and will start fifth and sixth, respectively.

Honda drivers captured nine of the top 12 positions during the three sessions of “knockout” qualifying. Marco Andretti will start seventh after his best qualifying result of 2018, with last week’s winner at Long Beach, Alexander Rossi, completing the fourth row of the starting grid, eighth. Robert Wickens led the rookie field for Honda in 10th, followed by fellow Honda rookie Zach Veach, 11th. Series sophomore Ed Jones rounds out the top 12 for Honda. Sunday’s 90-lap Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) qualified third for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama: “It was almost perfect. I got every little bit of it I had and the SealMaster Honda was good but obviously not quite good enough – just a tenth [of a second] off [pole]. It’s just super, super tight. I couldn’t dial out the last little bit of understeer. It is what it is, but I’m pretty happy. I think you can win from anywhere if it rains. I think it will be pretty exciting. Starting from the front always helps, spray and all, so hopefully we can just get a clear run and get [a good result].”

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Circuit:                             Barber Motorsports Park (1.8-mile road course) Birmingham, Ala.

2017 Winner:     Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) 108.809 mph average

Weather:           Sunny, warm, 74 degrees F 

Top-12 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:07.4413 mph average
2. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:07.4541 +0.0128
3. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 1:07.5337 Fast Six Final Qualifying
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:07.7807 Fast Six Final Qualifying
5. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:07.9472 Fast Six Final Qualifying
6. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:08.0303 Fast Six Final Qualifying
7. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:07.6027 2nd Round Qualifying
8. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:07.7488 2nd Round Qualifying
9. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 1:07.8409 2nd Round Qualifying
10. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:07.8455 2nd Round Qualifying
11. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 1:07.9894 2nd Round Qualifying
12. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:08.4386 2nd Round Qualifying

Other Honda Results

15. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:08.1038 1st Round, Group 1
16. Zachary Claman DeMelo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:08.5531 1st Round, Group 2
18. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:08.5676 1st Round, Group 2