|Sunday, September 04, 2016 3:29PM|
Sunday September 4th 2016, Watkins Glen, New York, USA
The Verizon IndyCar Series returned to New York's Watkins Glen International for the 10th Indy car race of the 2016 season, held at the scenic 3.37-mile road course and the first since 2010. Alexander Rossi was able to gain seven places during the race, finishing in the top ten for the sixth time this season. Following today’s result, the Rookie collected another 24 points towards his overall Championship tally, putting him on a total of 370 overall and putting him back up the Driver Rankings to sit in 11th.
Friday’s free practice sessions allowed Alexander to return to the prestigious circuit following the positive test earlier in the season. Solid running saw the No. 98 consistently in the top ten, but with the potential for more.
Upstate New York’s Watkins Glen International played host to qualifying ahead of the penultimate 60-lap INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen on Saturday. Blue skies and a soft breeze brought perfect conditions to the racetrack, with the Andretti Four of Alexander Rossi, Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay lining up in 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th, respectively.
Sunday was met with higher temperatures as the Californian took his place on the grid. An incident-filled race saw the rookie keep a cool head amidst the chaos, making up places on the first lap to quickly battle into the top ten. Following the first pit stop, Alexander was running as high as fifth, as further incidents and yellow flags interrupted the race. With strategy coming into play, there was a dash for the finish on the final laps, with tires, fuel and potential for further yellows adding to the mix.
With fuel-saving mode on, Alexander managed the No. 98 Castrol Edge / CURB Honda to the finish, taking the chequered flag in P8 and recording another top ten finish for the team. The Series now turns to the final race, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and Alexander’s home race in California, where double points and a final bid to move up the Championship race come into play.
Bryan Herta: ““Mega start by Alexander today – he made up a bunch of positions the first two laps and really put us in the game. From there we were looking pretty good, then at the end we dropped off a little bit those last few laps. We just had to get so aggressive to save fuel to make it to the finish. If we hadn’t had to drop off so much, we should have probably been in the top five. But Alexander did good to make sure we could make it to the finish, and got a decent finish. We’ll go on to Sonoma and cap the year off.”
Alexander Rossi: "To finish 8th was a decent result considering where we can from this weekend. We had to save a lot of fuel the last stint and be very disciplined not to push and use fuel. Had we not been in fuel save the last 20 laps we would finished 4th or 5th. Generally I think with a disappointing qualifying, that is the best that we could come up with. We’ll have to take this result and move on to Sonoma were I’m really looking forward to racing in my home State.”