Sebastien Bourdais takes IndyCar in Phoenix
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Sebastien Bourdais took the IndyCar pole Friday night at ISM Raceway, bumping fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud on the final run of qualifying.
Bourdais had a two-lap average of 188.539 mph on the 1.022-mile oval in Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 car. He’s coming off a victory March 11 in the season-opening street race in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Pagenaud qualified second for the Saturday night race at 188.148, a year after racing to his first oval victory at the desert track.
Penske teammate Will Power was third at 186.852, followed by Andretti Autosports’ Alexander Rossi and Schmidt Peterson’s Canadian duo of James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens.
The 250-lap race is the first oval event for the sleek new car designed to improve competition, level the playing field and cut costs.