Andretti sets the pace at Long Beach with Rossi and Hunter-Reay


Alexander Rossi has been one of the names of this start of the season in the IndyCar series. Immersed in that which is already his third season in the category, the american pilot started with the expectations to become a contender to the title after a fantastic second half of the year in 2017, and to date has not disappointed, climbing to the third spot on the podium in St. Petersburg and Phoenix racing that only two errors deprived them of a win. However, one of his teammates at Andretti Autosport, the veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay, has also started strongly, with two-fifths positions, ready to defend his position of team leader.

both pilots, the opportunity to win the race Long Beach last year, I was denied by mechanical problems when coming in second place. After claimed, his first day on the streets of the famous californian city has been almost unbeatable. In the first free practice sessions, ended up in second and third place, with Hunter-Reay beating Rossi, and in the second both were first and second, this time with Rossi at the front. Your time (1:08.556) it was slightly worse than that obtained by his partner in the morning (1:08.428), but it served to lead with strength, to lead almost four-tenths for the third, the leader of the championship Josef Newgarden.

The only rider that was able to avoid a double doublet of the stars of Andretti was the ever-reliable Scott Dixon. After a season start discrete in time, but efficient in terms of results, the new zealander began his career at Long Beach (race which he won in 2015) with the best time of the day, a 1:08.411, that was 1.4 seconds slower than the best Friday in 2017, as a result of the lower downforce of the “new” cars. In the afternoon, would settle for the fifth position behind a Takuma Sato, that he gave one of lime and another of sand. The japanese was very fast during all the day, having been sixth in the morning session, but ended up suffering a spectacular crash in turn 1 when only seconds remained to the end of the Free 2, in that it was the only incident remarkable in the day.

The Newgarden was the best performance of a Penske that is still swarming the upper zone without assaulting the highest positions, with Simon Pagenaud being fourth in the morning and Will Power sixth in the afternoon. In both cases, James Hinchcliffe, the current winner of the event, finished just behind, in fifth and seventh position. Robert Wickens, his partner in Schmidt, has had a start of the championship is extraordinary, being very close to winning the two races, but his start in Long Beach has not been as bright. In both sessions finished 14th just behind Zach Veach, the best of the rookies, which showed the good pace of the team, Andretti, something that Marco Andretti (20 and 15) did not know to take advantage of new.

The results show a pattern very consistent between one batch and another, and that is also reflected in the results of the mid-zone, with Sebastien Bourdais, third overall, Graham Rahal, Spencer Pigot and Tony Kanaan ending between positions 8 and 12 in two batches. Kanaan, in particular, was quite more inspired than his fellow Matheus Leist, lost in time, beating only to Kyle Kaiser in the first session, and Zachary Claman DeMelo and Gabby Chaves in the second. In both cases, it was exceeded by Jack Harvey and the two Carlin, who seem to start to soar to rub shoulders with a off Ed Jones. This Saturday will test that improvement in the third free (19:45 time-of-Spain) and in the qualifying session (00:30).

RESULTS: Free 1-Free / 2