Sebastien Bourdais won the Verizon P1 Award for Saturday night’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix. The Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan driver recorded a two-lap average of 188.539 MPH around the 1.022-mile oval. The previous best start at ISM Raceway for the St. Petersburg winner was 10th last year.
It is his 34th career pole and first on an oval since the 2006 ChampCar race at Milwaukee. Bourdais’ last pole in the Verizon IndyCar Series occurred at Mid-Ohio in 2014. The previous best start at ISM Raceway. He also will be looking to improve upon a career-best finish of eighth at the track in 2016.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud and Will Power were the best Chevrolet-Powered cars in the field. Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top five.
St. Petersburg polesitter Robert Wickens was the fastest rookie in qualifying. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver will start 6th after posting an average of 185.362 MPH.
20 of the 23 drivers averaged a qualifying speed of over 180 MPH and the top 12 drivers all qualified within a second of each other. Bourdais and Pagenaud were the only drivers to break the 187 MPH barrier, as no other driver would average above 186.852 MPH.
Next up will be a one-hour final practice at 11:00 Eastern time tonight. The 250-lap race will be run tomorrow night, with the green flag set to fly at approximately 9:40 Eastern time. Stick with Open-Wheels.com and follow us across social media as we bring you updates throughout the race weekend.
Image Courtesy of INDYCAR Media