IndyCar Detroit: Andretti flies to first pole since 2013

Marco Andretti claimed his first pole position since Pocono 2013 for the opening race of IndyCar's Detroit double-header, beating Robert Wickens by almost half a second

IndyCar Detroit: Andretti flies to first pole since 2013

In a truncated qualifying format unique to the double-header in Detroit, the field was split into two groups. The fastest driver overall from the two sessions takes pole position, while those behind in his group fill the odd numbered grid slots. The slower group take the even positions.

Andretti, who ran in the session's second group, held provisional pole after the first of two laps on his final run, before Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' Wickens edged the Andretti Autosport driver by 0.0019s with his last lap of the session.

However, Andretti went quicker still on his final lap, positing a time of 1m14.8514s to put himself 0.4752s clear of Wickens and end his lengthy pole drought.

Having been the pacesetter in the first group, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon will line-up second on the grid, with Wickens third.

Andretti's team-mate Alexander Rossi was 0.0760s behind Dixon in the first group and starts fourth, with the third Andretti Autosport car of Ryan Hunter-Reay, fastest in Friday's practice, one place further back.

Indy 500 winner Will Power topped the timesheets early on in the session's opening group as the fastest driver on the primary tyre, but struggled on the crucial option tyre during the final laps of the session and will start sixth.

Graham Rahal, who won both Detroit races in 2017, echoed Power's issues and will start eighth. He was beaten to seventh by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team-mate Takuma Sato.

James Hinchcliffe, who missed the 500 after he bumped from the field, and Max Chilton will round out the top 10 on the fifth row of the grid.

Chilton was one of the drivers to improve significantly late in the first group and equals Carlin's best qualifying performance of the season so far, set by Charlie Kimball at Long Beach.

Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden only managed 14th, while St Petersburg race winner Sebastien Bourdais ended up in 17th for Dale Coyne Racing, narrowly beating new team-mate Santino Ferrucci, the Formula 2 regular making his first IndyCar appearance in Detroit.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m14.8514s
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 0.5672s
3 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.4753s
4 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.6432s
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 0.4837s
6 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.8696s
7 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.5406s
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 0.9759s
9 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 0.6888s
10 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1.1882s
11 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1.0362s
12 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.2916s
13 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1.1585s
14 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1.3409s
15 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1.2226s
16 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1.4643s
17 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1.3691s
18 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1.9017s
19 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1.3797s
20 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 2.0561s
21 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1.5668s
22 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 2.3553s
23 Rene Binder Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 3.7594s


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Marco Andretti
Author Kyran Gibbons
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