Round 07 Detroit

  • Rossi, Sato Produce Podium Results for Honda in Detroit

    Alexander Rossi led the Honda-powered field on the Belle Isle street circuit, finishing second in the opening round of the “Dual in Detroit” doubleheader NTT Indycar Series weekend.


Report

Rossi, Sato Produce Podium Results for Honda in Detroit

Detroit, June 1, 2019

  • Alexander Rossi finishes second in opening race on Belle Isle street circuit
  • Takuma Sato runs third in rain delayed, shortened event
  • Second race in doubleheader weekend runs Sunday

Alexander Rossi led the Honda-powered field Saturday on the Belle Isle street circuit, finishing second in the opening round of the “Dual in Detroit” doubleheader NTT Indycar Series weekend.

Rossi started from the pole in a race that was delayed approximately 80 minutes by a band of thunderstorms that moved through the Detroit area just prior to the scheduled 3:45pm green flag time, which resulted in officials making the race a 75-minute timed event instead of the scheduled 70 laps.

When the green flag finally did wave, Rossi and third-qualifying Scott Dixon edged out a small gap of 1.5 seconds over the rest of the 22-car starting field, and held that until drying track conditions led drivers to pit for ‘slick' dry weather tires and fuel to finish the race.  After starting second, but falling back to fourth in the opening laps, Josef Newgarden's Penske Racing team called him into the pits just prior to a full-course caution. 

As a result, Newgarden moved to the front as the rest of the field pitted, with Rossi second and Dixon third.  Caught out by the changing conditions, Dixon crashed out of the contest on Lap 23.  Rossie hounded Newgarden for the remainder of the race, but was unable to attempt a pass before the checkers waved after 43 laps had been completed.

Following Dixon's exit, teammate Felix Rosenqvist moved up to third, but a charging Takuma Sato proved to be one driver able to execute passes in the challenging conditions.  Making most of his moves in Turn 3, Sato successfully moved from ninth at the start to sixth on Lap 18, fifth by Lap 25 and eventually passed Rosenqvist for third, where he finished, on Lap 28.  Teammate Graham Rahal had a similar run for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, finishing seventh after starting 11th.

Next
Honda Racing activities continue Sunday on the Belle Isle street circuit in Detroit with the second of this weekend's two NTT Indycar Series races.  The eighth round of the 2019 championship will be aired live on NBC, with television coverage starting at 3pm EDT.

Comments

Alexander Rossi (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda)
Started first, finished second:

“These yellows [full-course cautions] are tough - they've killed our race three times this year, but it's part of the game in INDYCAR, [and] it's the same for everyone. We had a really good car under wet conditions. We were able to control the race and control the gap to Scott [Dixon]. Track position on a one-line track was obviously key. There was really only one dry line; there was not much I could do. Josef [Newgarden] did a good job. I tried to push him into a mistake, but it didn't come. It's hard. I'm frustrated. I think we had the best car today.”

Ted Klaus (president, Honda Performance Development)
on today's first race in Detroit:

“In difficult conditions, Alexander Rossi once again stayed cool, positioned himself well, and drove an intelligent race.  Unfortunately, on a wet but drying track, it's difficult to find a place to complete a successful pass.  Still, we're proud of Alexander's effort today, and of Takuma Sato's drive toward the front.  The good news is we have another opportunity tomorrow, and we're looking forward to better conditions for both competitors and fans alike.”

Results

IndyCar Series 2019
Round 07: Detroit Race

Rank Driver (Team)
1 Josef Newgarden (Team Penske)
2 Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport)
3 Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
4 Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing)
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)
6 Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske)
7 Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
8 Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport)
9 James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)
10 Spencer Pigot (Ed Carpenter Racing)
11 Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan)
12 Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing)
13 Marcus Ericsson (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)
16 Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta With Marco & Curb-Agajanian)
19 Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing)
22 Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)

Photos