• 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

 

DETROIT, Mich. (June 1, 2019) – 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 3:45 p.m. 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 3 p.m. EDT.

 

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action in Detroit – and companion Acura Motorsports sports car racing activities – are available on the HPD Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV

 

Quotes

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started first, finished second: “These yellows [full-couse 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.”

 

 

NTT IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix

Circuit:             Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.

2018 Winners:  Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 99.285 mph average, Race 1, Saturday

                       Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) 105.176 mph average, Race 2, Sunday

Weather:         Mostly sunny, mild, 79 degrees F

 

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver

Team

Manufacturer

Laps

Notes

1.

2.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

43

mph average (rain)

2.

1.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

43

+0.8237 seconds

3.

9.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

43

 

4.

4.

Felix Rosenqvist-R

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

43

 

5.

6.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

43

 

6.

13.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

43

 

7.

11.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

43

8.

8.

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Honda

43

 

9.

10.

James Hinchcliffe

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

43

 

10.

17.

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

43

 

Other Honda Results

11.

16.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan

Honda

43

Running

12.

5.

Colton Herta-R

Harding Steinbrenner Rcg

Honda

43

Running

13.

10.

Marcus Ericsson-R

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

43

Running

16.

18.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

43

Running

19.

22.

Santino Ferrucci-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

43

 

22.

4.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

23

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