Alexander Rossi claims Road America victory with a masterclass display
Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi delivered a masterclass of driving en route to victory in the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, his second win of the 2019 season.
Rossi led every lap of the race after getting past pole-sitter Colton Herta around the outside of Turn 1 on the opening lap and never looked back, the Californian was able to gap the field consistently at over half a second a lap, claiming victory by nearly 30 seconds.
A long way back was the Team Penske pair of Will Power in second and Josef Newgarden third, the duo had no answer for the clinical pace Rossi was maintaining at the front of the field.
Both drivers fought each other hard and at times were close to contact, but avoided breaking that sacrilegious rule of racing but not making contact.
It was a close contest behind the Penske's as Graham Rahal crossed the finish line in fourth-place in the #15 GEHL sponsored RLL-Honda with colours paying homage to his father Bryan's 'Genuine Draft' livery from 1994.
Reigning series champion Scott Dixon made a stunning comeback to finish fifth, his #9 PNC Bank-Honda was turned around by Ryan Hunter-Reay on the opening lap and fell to the back of the field facing the wrong way.
The Kiwi then scythed his way back through the field going toe-to-toe with everyone and coming out on top, completing the final few laps with fading black Firestone tyres as he battled with team-mate Felix Rosenqvist and James Hinchcliffe and Herta.
Rosenqvist was able to follow Dixon across the line in sixth having started all the way back in 18th place, ensuring Chip Ganassi Racing scored valuable points.
Hinchcliffe ended the afternoon in seventh after falling from fourth in the final stint of the race, the Canadian pipped Herta to the line after a clash between the pair in the final laps in Turn 4.
Herta had a difficult race for Harding Steinbrenner Racing after losing the lead in the opening corner to Rossi. He did start the race on scrubbed red Firestone tyres, his race was hampered after his first pit stop was slow due to a problem with the refuelling hose not disconnecting from the car.
As the 19-year old lost further ground he got into numerous battles with the likes of Penske's Simon Pagenaud and Hinchcliffe, he eventually finished in eighth.
Pagenaud claimed ninth place after a tough qualifying session which saw the Indy 500 winner start from 16th place. Rounding out the top 10 was Takuma Sato who took his #30 MI-Jack-Honda for a couple of trips through the grass, one of them came after making contact with Hinchcliffe on lap 3.
The race ran caution free despite numerous excursions from the drivers, the most notable came from Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' Marcus Ericsson who out-braked himself into Turn 4 and nearly made contact with the barrier.
There was also a kerb breaking up in Turn 6, but IndyCar race control felt it was not a risk and allowed the race to continue.
The NTT IndyCar Series returns to action in Toronto, Canada on July 12-14.