(UPDATED) IndyCar: Rossi, Dixon fastest in rain-shortened first practice at Gateway, qualifying cancelled

IndyCar
0 Comments

UPDATED (6:33 p.m.): IndyCar officials have decided to forego qualifying tonight due to rain, per a tweet from the series.

As a result, the starting grid for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park will be set by entrant points in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.

That means series points leader Scott Dixon will start Saturday’s race from the pole, with No. 2 in the points, Alexander Rossi, on the outside pole.

However, IndyCar officials are still hoping to get in one other practice session tonight if the weather breaks. As such, what was originally scheduled to be a one-hour practice session from 9 to 10 p.m. ET is now scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET and go to 10 p.m. ET.

ORIGINAL STORY

Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon were fastest in Friday’s first IndyCar practice session at Gateway Motorsports Park – but the rain was faster.

Rossi led all cars in the 21-driver field with a speed of 184.424 mph (at 24.4003 seconds). Dixon was second-fastest at 182.773 mph (at 24.6207 seconds).

The practice session was originally slated to go off at 1:15 p.m. ET, but was postponed for rain and then additional drying of the race track.

Then, just as things got underway shortly after 4 p.m. ET, Marco Andretti brought out a red flag stoppage when the gearbox on his Andretti Autosport Honda failed on-track. Cars returned to the track for about 20 minutes before rain returned in a heavy sprinkle with about six minutes left in the session, cutting things short on the 1.250-mile oval.

Sebastien Bourdais was third-fastest (182.675 mph at 24.6339), followed by Tony Kanaan (182.444 at 24.6651), Ed Jones (182.364 at 24.6759), Ryan Hunter-Reay (181.593 at 24.7807), Spencer Pigot (181.501 at 24.7932), Zach Veach (181.404 at 24.8065), James Hinchcliffe (180.929 at 24.8716) and defending race winner and series champ Josef Newgarden (180.429 at 24.9405).

Qualifying is set to take place at 7 p.m. ET tonight, weather conditions permitting. And the final one-hour practice session is slated for 9 p.m. ET tonight, as well.

Dixon holds a 29-point edge over Rossi in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. Newgarden is 66 points back and his Team Penske teammate Will Power is 81 points back, with three races remaining on the 2018 schedule.

While Dixon still leads the points standings, Rossi comes into Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 having won the last two races (Mid-Ohio and Pocono).

Saturday night’s race is slated to take the green flag at 8:30 p.m. ET. However, there is an 80 percent chance of rain in the forecast for that evening.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
0 Comments

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III