Alexander Rossi began qualifying day at Long Beach as the fastest driver by ensuring his No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda reached the top of the timesheet in the second consecutive practice session at the temporary street circuit.
At 1:06.6105, Rossi’s fastest lap in the Saturday morning outing was a remarkable 1.8 seconds faster than the fastest lap of Friday’s running, set by Scott Dixon in Practice 1.
Josef Newgarden was the second-fastest driver in this third practice session of the weekend, lapping 0.0418 seconds slower than Rossi on the best two laps from the American drivers. Australia’s Will Power added a second Chevrolet engine to the top three at 0.2174 seconds slower than Rossi.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, after ending Friday second fastest behind Dixon, finished Practice 3 in the fourth position having improved by a second and a half over his best revolution of the 1.968-mile circuit.
With the fifth-fastest time, Simon Pagenaud gave Chevy the advantage in the top five by 3-2 over Honda, but Graham Rahal, Spencer Pigot, Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Jones evened things up between the manufacturers in the top 10.
Despite nosing into the Turn 8 tire barrier to bring out the red and checkered flags simultaneously and end the session early, Jordan King was the fastest rookie in the session. The part-time driver of Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Chevrolet ended Practice 3 in 12th as the last driver on the results sheet to have lapped within a second of Rossi’s session-leading pace.
Qualifying is all that remains for the Verizon IndyCar Series on Saturday. Knockout qualifying culminating in the second Firestone Fast 6 of 2018 will commence at 3:30 p.m. PDT and will be shown live on NBCSN beginning at the same time.