ROSSI RISES ABOVE WET CONDITIONS TO TAKE POLE FOR SECOND DETROIT RACE
Alexander Rossi delivered Andretti Autosport its second Verizon P1 Award in as many days, capturing the pole position in qualifying for Race 2 of the Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear set for later today.
Running on the new Firestone rain tire in wet but drying conditions this morning on the 14-turn, 2.35-mile temporary street course at Belle Isle Park, Rossi turned a best lap of 1 minute, 33.3143 seconds (90.661 mph) in the No. 27 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda. It earned the current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader the third pole position of his three-year career and second this season.
Marco Andretti, Rossi’s teammate, took the pole position in Saturday’s qualifying for Race 1, which was won by Scott Dixon.
The past two times Rossi has started a race first – at Watkins Glen International last season and Long Beach this year – he has gone on to win the race. This time, he had to earn the top starting spot in treacherous conditions.
“It was difficult,” Rossi said. “The wet’s hard in any type of condition, especially on a street course like this. I’ve got to give a shout out to Firestone. This new tread pattern they came up with was really stout. It had a lot of grip, it was very predictable, I knew where the limit was right away."
“It made the job easier, for sure. It then becomes a session of trying to find the grip and maximizing as much as you can. Fortunately, the No. 27 Ruoff Home Mortgage car had a good balance and allowed me to do that.”
Rossi was the fastest driver in the second qualifying group when the track began drying following a heavy rainstorm early in the morning. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens was quick in the first group and will start on the outside of Row 1 following a lap of 1:33.6605 (90.326 mph) in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda.Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished second to Dixon in Race 1, went into the Turn 3 runoff at one point in qualifying and then spun in Turn 8. The latter incident brought out a local yellow flag, forcing Hunter-Reay to surrender his best lap to that point. He will start 10th in the No. 28 DHL Honda.