Polesitter Alexander Rossi continued to have the car to beat in Sunday morning’s final practice for the 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Rossi led the 30-minute warmup with a time of 1:07.5366 at 104.903 mph. He covered 16 laps on the 1.968-mile temporary street course.
Scott Dixon was one of only a few drivers that took the most laps, 19, but it proved worth it for him as he was second-quickest (1:07.6270) at 104.763 mph.
Third was Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:07.8040 at 104.489 mph), followed by Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden (1:07.9952 at 104.225 mph) and Simon Pagenaud (1:08.0198 and 104.188 mph).
Sixth through 10th were outside pole sitter for today’s race Will Power (1:08.1903/103.927), James Hinchcliffe (1:08.2528/103.832), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (1:08.3490/103.686), Spencer Pigot (1:08.4049/103.601) and Max Chilton (1:08.4152/103.585).
There was two incidents of note in the 30-minute practice:
* Gabby Chaves ran into a run-off area in Turn 9 with about six minutes remaining, bringing out a brief red flag practice stoppage.
* With about one minute left, Zachary Clemen De Melo also carried into the same run-off area in Turn 9, bringing out the red flag and ending the session.
Also of note for today’s race, which airs live on NBCSN starting with the pre-race show at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT and then takes the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET:
* Al Unser Jr. is the all-time leader in wins at Long Beach with six visits to victory lane.
* From a team perspective, three organizations are tied for most wins at Long Beach, with six each: Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske and the former Newman-Haas Racing.
* But with Rossi and Andretti Autosport looking so strong this weekend, including Rossi starting today’s race on the pole, will Ganassi or Penske finally be able to break that record — or will they have to wait again until next year?