Rossi Leads Honda Qualifiers at Portland

  • Alexander Rossi to start third in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland
  • Championship leader Scott Dixon qualifies 11th
  • Honda drivers claim nine of top 12 qualifying positions

For the fourth consecutive race weekend, Alexander Rossi led the Honda field in qualifying today for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland. Rossi, currently second in the drivers’ championship standings and 26 points behind leader Scott Dixon, will start third tomorrow in the 26-car Verizon IndyCar Series field. Rossi claimed the pole – and the race win – at Mid-Ohio in July, and led the Honda qualifying effort both the Pocono and Gateway ovals.

Sebastien Bourdais, a previous Portland race winner and leader of all three practice sessions prior to qualifying, will start fourth despite a crash in the final practice session this morning. Bourdas’ DCR with Vasser-Sullivan crew completed extensive repairs to his car in the three-and-a-half hours between practice and qualifying, and the veteran rewarded the team with a fourth-place qualifying run.

Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Zach Veach rounded out the top six final-round qualifiers, with Honda drivers also claiming positions seven through 11 in the second round of Indy car knockout qualifying.

James Hinchcliffe and Ed Jones will start seventh and eighth, respectively. The fifth row of the starting grid will be made up of Marco Andretti in ninth, and Graham Rahal, 10th. Dixon, pursuing his fifth career IndyCar Series Drivers’ Championship, will start 11th in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

The penultimate round of the 2018 season begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Alexander Rossi (Andrettti Autosport Honda) Qualified third: “I think we had a fast car [in practice]. It just didn’t translate yesterday [because we were not] able to get the lap in. So, yeah, I think all four of the [team] cars have been competitive. Marco [Andretti] really has led the way for a lot of the weekend in terms of Andretti Autosport. We’ve all worked together. [For tomorrow’s race] we won’t count our chickens before they hatch. There’s 105 laps, a lot of things can happen before we leave here. We also got to beat the two [Team Penske] cars in front of us, who are very quick.

Sebastien Bourdais (DCR Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) Qualified fourth: “Yeah, overall just an incredible effort from the guys to recover from my mistake [a crash in the final practice session]. Honestly, when I got out of the car, I really wasn’t quite sure how that thing was going to get fixed, yet the team did an awesome job with some time to spare. It was very impressive. The car may have looked like a ‘Frankenstein’ car [with parts from a spare car replacing damaged bodywork on the original, but [in qualifying] it was just about as good as it was in the morning. I was really pleased with everything. I kind of made a mistake in the final round, that one lap, but nevertheless, good results under the circumstances.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Portland

Circuit:                             Portland International Raceway (1.9-mile road course) Portland, Oregon

2017 Winner:     N/A (first IndyCar Series race here since 2007)

Weather:           Sunny, mild, 76 degrees F


Top-12 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 57.3467 123.292 mph average
2. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 57.6877 +0.3410 seconds
3. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 57.7361 Fast Six Final Qualifying
4. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 57.8881 Fast Six Final Qualifying
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 57.9699 Fast Six Final Qualifying
6. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 58.1057 Fast Six Final Qualifying
7. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 57.6429 2nd Round Qualifying
8. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 57.6499 2nd Round Qualifying
9. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 57.7277 2nd Round Qualifying
10. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 58.7772 2nd Round Qualifying
11. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 57.8554 2nd Round Qualifying
12. Jordan King-R Ed Carpenter Chevrolet 57.9010 2nd Round Qualifying

Other Honda Results

13. Jack Harvey-R Meyer Shank Racing Honda 57.6984 1st Round, Group 1
14. Carlos Munoz Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 57.9141 1st Round, Group 2
16. Pietro Fittipaldi-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 58.0825 1st Round, Group 2
18. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 57.4818 1st Round, Group 2
20. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 57.7915 1st Round, Group 2