Alexander Rossi set the pace in the final practice before this afternoon’s qualifying session for the IndyCar Classic at the Circuit of the Americas.

With overcast skies and track temperatures nearly 30 degrees cooler than yesterday, times were bound to fall in the session.

The driver of the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda for Andretti Autosport became the only driver of the weekend to crack the 1 minute 46-second range with a lap of 1:46.9148s. Cooler temperatures and higher grip attributed to the jump in pace which eclipsed the hot lap of 1:47.440s laid down yesterday by Team Penske’s Will Power on the option red tyres by nearly five-tenths of a second.

The 27-year-old from Nevada City, California noted that today’s session was less stressful having found an ideal setup during yesterday’s practice sessions.

“All of our figuring out was kind of done yesterday because our warmup was moved to last night instead of Sunday morning,” he said. “I hope we got enough done and enough understanding, but right now all of the focus in on qualifying.”

 The winner of the 2016 Indianapolis 500 cautioned that the jump in speed on blacks was mostly due to the drop in temperatures.

“It was pretty hot yesterday, and it is pretty cool and overcast today, so that’s always a pretty big gain,” said Rossi.

Rossi led a Honda sweep of the top four followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Graham Rahal, the only other two drivers to eclipse Power’s quick time from yesterday and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

A trio of former series champions claimed the next two times led by Josef Newgarden, who carried the flag for manufacture Chevrolet with the fifth quickest time. Scott Dixon logged the sixth fastest lap and Will Power the seventh.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot ended up eighth as Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais came home in tenth.

The session was abruptly3 ended with a few minutes to go as Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Rookie Marcus Ericsson struck the tyre barriers in Turn 19. The former Sauber Formula 1 driver took a wide exit and overcorrected before hitting the barriers.

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