The 19th lap of Portland International Raceway on Saturday morning for Sebastien Bourdais marked the fastest of the Grand Prix of Portland’s final practice session but was followed immediately by a crash on his 20th lap.
Bourdais tore around the 1.964-mile road course in 57.4707 seconds late in the 45-minute practice outing to place one of Dale Coyne Racing’s three Honda cars atop the timesheet.
When the veteran driver spun and crashed heavily into the Turn 10 tire barrier, INDYCAR introduced the red and checkered flags simultaneously and Bourdais’ position was cemented as no further laps would be turned.
Despite being quick enough to top Practice 3, Bourdais’ lap was 0.0654 seconds slower than the leading Practice 2 time and 0.0732 seconds off the even-quicker pace from the first session, also set by Bourdais.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Graham Rahal owned the second-fastest lap before the crash and early conclusion. At 0.0435 seconds off Bourdais’ pace, Rahal was 0.0366 seconds clear of Will Power who slotted into the third position.
Alexander Rossi and Rahal’s teammate Takuma Sato added third and fourth Hondas to the top five with Sato just over two-tenths of a second in arrears of Bourdais.
Beyond Power in third, only two other Chevrolet cars landed in the top 10 which was rounded out by Spencer Pigot, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden and Zach Veach in positions six through 10.
Carlos Munoz was the top Schmidt Peterson Motorsports pilot in 15th as James Hinchcliffe brought out a red flag with a mistake in Turn 2 less than 15 minutes after the session began.
The whole of the 25-car field utilized Firestone’s black-sidewalled primary tires to lay down their best laps in this third session with Friday’s Practice 2 proving to be the most relevant regarding qualifying preparations.
The crew of Bourdais’ No. 18 Honda is tasked with repairing the car in the three hours between Practice 3 and qualifying, set to begin at 3:20 p.m. PDT. A delayed broadcast of qualifying will be shown on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. EDT.