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Qualifying report

IndyCar Detroit: Newgarden on pole for final Belle Isle race

Josef Newgarden will lead the field to the green for the final Detroit Grand Prix to be held at Belle Isle Park, after shading a surprising challenge from Takuma Sato.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Team Penske's Newgarden delivered a 1m15.215s lap, an average of 112.477s, to go fastest by 0.133s and claim his 16th pole.

Heading into the Firestone Fast Six on used reds, Helio Castroneves was the first driver to throw down a fast lap in Q3, a 1m15.453s tour of the bumpy 2.35-mile, 14-turn course.

That survived the first assaults from Newgarden and rookie David Malukas in the Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda, before Takuma Sato in the second Dale Coyne Racing with RWR car moved to the top with a 1m15.349s.

Soon after, Newgarden delivered his pole-stealing lap to top the timesheet, with Sato lining up second and Simon Pagenaud of Meyer Shank Racing in third.

Castroneves settled for fourth, with Arrow McLaren SP's Pato O'Ward in fifth and rookie David Malukas in sixth.

The fastest time in Q1's Group 1 was set by Castroneves, with a a 1m15.737s, ahead of Ericsson, O’Ward and Pagenaud. 

Devlin DeFrancesco went straight out on alternate tyres, and on his second lap he produced a 1m17.019s, but the best of the drivers on primary tyres were able to able to eclipse him.

Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Another driver on alternates, Christian Lundgaard then went to the top of the times for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda and delivered a 1m16.306s, but Scott McLaughlin was only two-tenths away in his Team Penske-Chevrolet.

Castroneves and O’Ward then improved on their second flying laps and Helio got down to 1m15.436s.

Conor Daly just missed out by 0.0087s, as did Friday pacesetter Kyle Kirkwood who had to serve a drive-through for a pit speed violation.

Malukas topped the Group 2 times on primaries, 1m16.3251s, ahead of the Andretti Autosport pair of Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta, followed by Scott Dixon (Ganassi), Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing) and Will Power (Team Penske).

Alex Palou was the first major runner to switch to alternate tyres, but his 1m15.950s was swiftly pushed down by Felix Rosenqvist, Rossi, Malukas, VeeKay, before Dixon produced a 1m15.331s.

Josef Newgarden then found a 1m15.226s, but that was beaten by Malukas who produced the first 74sec lap of the weekend, a 74.883s. Rossi and Herta also improved to also demote Newgarden, but he, Dixon and Sato clung on to move on into Q2.

Surprise eliminations at this stage were VeeKay, Power, and defending champion Palou. Rosenqvist was sent out of pitlane into the path of Jimmie Johnson, lost his best laps for qualifying interference and will start on the back row.

Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Heading into Q2, Simon Pagenaud set a 1m15.443s on primary tyres, while Newgarden landed a 1m15.509s with his first flyer on fresh reds and 15.0289 on his second.

However, this was swiftly eclipsed by rookie Malukas with a 1m14.8s, the same as he produced in Q1, before O’Ward sprung himself to the top with a 1m14.668s.

Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi were on their final flying laps, when Romain Grosjean banged the wall at Turn 11, appeared to bend suspension, and then spun hard into the wall at Turn 12.

That brought out the red flag, preventing Dixon and Rossi from getting a chance to advance, so Newgarden could breathe a sigh of relief as he was through to the final six.

Marcus Ericsson was unhappy with teammate Dixon backing up toward him trying to find a gap, for his flyer, but it was a similar incident to that seen throughout the field, throughout the weekend.

Firestone Fast Six results:

Cla

Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'15.215    
2 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'15.349 0.133 0.133
3 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'15.395 0.179 0.046
4 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'15.453 0.238 0.058
5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 1'16.330 1.114 0.876
6 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 1'16.610 1.395 0.280

Q2 results:

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 MexicoPatricio O'Ward United StatesArrow McLaren SP 1'14.668    
2 United StatesDavid Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 1'14.825 0.157 0.157
3 BrazilHelio Castroneves United StatesMeyer Shank Racing 1'14.859 0.191 0.034
4 FranceSimon Pagenaud United StatesMeyer Shank Racing 1'14.917 0.249 0.057
5 JapanTakuma Sato United StatesDale Coyne Racing 1'14.936 0.268 0.019
6 United StatesJosef Newgarden United StatesTeam Penske 1'15.028 0.360 0.092
7 United StatesColton Herta United StatesAndretti Autosport 1'15.104 0.436 0.075
8 SwedenMarcus Ericsson United StatesChip Ganassi Racing 1'15.227 0.559 0.123
9 New ZealandScott Dixon United StatesChip Ganassi Racing 1'15.405 0.737 0.177
10 New ZealandScott McLaughlin United StatesTeam Penske 1'15.867 1.198 0.461
11 United StatesAlexander Rossi United StatesAndretti Autosport 1'16.217 1.549 0.350
12 FranceRomain Grosjean United StatesAndretti Autosport 1'16.974 2.305 0.756

Q1 Group 1 results:

Q1 Group 2 results:

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 1'14.883    
2 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'15.028 0.145 0.145
3 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 1'15.200 0.317 0.171
4 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'15.226 0.342 0.025
5 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'15.330 0.447 0.104
6 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'15.391 0.507 0.060
7 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'15.548 0.664 0.157
8 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'15.573 0.689 0.024
9 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'15.612 0.728 0.039
10 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'16.834 1.951 1.222
11 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'17.549 2.666 0.715
12 Colombia Tatiana Calderon United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'18.365 3.482 0.815
13 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 1'18.629 3.745 0.263

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