Following an incident-packed Mid-Ohio spherical, by which he was concerned in tangles with team-mates Romain Grosjean and Devlin deFrancesco, Rossi stormed to the quickest time on the Toronto road observe with a 1m00.609s lap that was 0.090s faster than Meyer-Shank Racing’s Pagenaud.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal was additionally inside a tenth of the outright tempo in third, with championship chief Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) and two-time Toronto winner Josef Newgarden (Workforce Penske) finishing the highest 5.
Amid his contract wrangling between present employer CGR and potential future employer McLaren Racing, Toronto circuit debutante and reigning champion Alex Palou was tenth.
The Spaniard was the primary driver into the 1m01s bracket, trimming his preliminary 1m01.839s lap to a 1m01.478s across the 1.786-mile circuit. Two-time Toronto pole-winner Will Energy then delivered a 1m01.324s to go high for Workforce Penske earlier than Rossi edged forward by 0.017s.
With 42 minutes remaining within the session, Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist vaulted into first by simply 0.005s, proper earlier than the crimson flag flew for an inspection of a drain cowl at Flip 2.
A second crimson flag adopted when Juncos Holinger driver Callum Ilott struck the wall at Flip 1, moments after 2009 polewinner Rahal went quickest with a 1m01.218s effort.
After Jimmie Johnson spun his CGR machine whereas attempting his softer Firestone alternate compound tyres, a flurry of laptimes adopted on the ‘crimson’ tyres.
Pagenaud’s team-mate Helio Castroneves was the primary to make it rely, shifting into second place behind Rahal, earlier than Palou went quickest with a 1m01.137s effort and team-mate Scott Dixon slotted into second.
Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
Whereas team-mate Pato O’Ward overshot Flip 1, Rosenqvist then re-took the highest with a 1m00.793s lap, however that was rapidly shaded by Rossi, Rahal, Ericsson and Newgarden.
Pagenaud’s greatest flyer was a 1m00.6991s, sufficient to place him second with 5 minutes to go, however then Castroneves and Dixon went off at Flip 8. Whereas the three-time Toronto winner driver skated straight on, spun round and returned to the course, his MSR counterpart nosed into the tyre wall and wanted retrieval.
With too many individuals then hitting the observe within the closing minutes, there wasn’t sufficient time for anybody to enhance, preserving Rossi’s place atop the occasions.
Energy had his greatest lap hindered inadvertently by Rossi, and ended up ninth.