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Practice report
IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2

IndyCar Indy RC: Rahal sets fastest time in first practice

Graham Rahal set the quickest laptime in the opening practice session of the IndyCar Series element of the NASCAR crossover event around the Indianapolis Road Course on Friday morning.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Rahal lapped the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course in 1m09.8421s in the 90-minute session for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Given they raced already here in May, track activity was sparse to begin with apart from rookies, who are allowed an extra set of primary tires.

May’s polesitter Christian Lundgaard led the way for the Rahal team after 30 minutes with a lap of 1m10.4945s, two tenths ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s rookie Marcus Armstrong.

Last year’s winner here Alexander Rossi (Arrow McLaren) and series dominator Alex Palou (Ganassi) took turns at the top, both dipping into the 1m10.3s bracket – Palou producing 1m10.3003s, which stood as the quickest time set on the primary tires.

The red flag flew with 43 minutes to go when Pato O’Ward (McLaren) spun exiting Turn 13 and slid across the grass and stalled his engine.

McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist was the first to set an alternate-tired time, a 1m09.9267s, with 20 minutes remaining. That stayed P1 for a good while, until Graham Rahal produced 1m09.8421s with nine minutes to go.

Many teams appeared keener on running their alternates long – which are a harder compound this weekend than they were in May – rather than attempting pure qualifying simulations, which probably skewed the pecking order.

“I think the reds have thrown people for a loop, there’s a lot more understeer than before,” said Rahal. “I feel strong.”

Rosenqvist stayed in P2, ahead of Lundgaard, Rossi, Palou, the lead Team Penske car of Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon (Ganassi), O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi) and Devlin De Francesco (Andretti Autosport).

Toronto’s debutant star Linus Lundqvist lost track time due to an engine problem with his Honda-powered Meyer Shank Racing car. Once rectified, he set the seventh-quickest primary time but fell to 13th on alternates.

Title contender Josef Newgarden could only manage 24th in this session, and admitted it was “not a good practice”.

In IndyCar parish notices, there will be six-place starting grid penalties tomorrow for Helio Castroneves (MSR), David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing) and Jack Harvey (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) for unapproved engine changes.

Qualifying starts at 12:30pm ET, with a final practice scheduled for 4:00pm ET.

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Driver Info
 
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United States G. Rahal Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 23 1'09.8421 125.718
2 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 6 23 +0.0846 0.0846 125.566
3 Denmark C. Lundgaard Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 28 +0.2825 0.1979 125.211
4 United States A. Rossi Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 21 +0.2912 0.0087 125.196
5 Spain A. Palou Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 21 +0.3544 0.0632 125.083
6 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Team Penske 3 25 +0.4061 0.0517 124.991
7 New Zealand S. Dixon Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 22 +0.4277 0.0216 124.953
8 Mexico P. O'Ward Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 14 +0.4799 0.0522 124.860
9 Sweden M. Ericsson Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 8 16 +0.4833 0.0034 124.854
10 Canada D. DeFrancesco Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Autosport 29 22 +0.5043 0.0210 124.817
11 New Zealand M. Armstrong Marcus Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 26 +0.5065 0.0022 124.813
12 United Kingdom J. Harvey Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 29 +0.5123 0.0058 124.802
13 Sweden L. Lundqvist Linus Lundqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 32 +0.5453 0.0330 124.744
14 United States K. Kirkwood Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 27 20 +0.5604 0.0151 124.717
15 Brazil H. Castroneves Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 06 23 +0.5639 0.0035 124.711
16 United States D. Malukas David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing 18 24 +0.6088 0.0449 124.631
17 France R. Grosjean Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport 28 21 +0.6360 0.0272 124.583
18 United States S. Ferrucci Santino Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 26 +0.6424 0.0064 124.572
19 United Kingdom C. Ilott Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 17 +0.6439 0.0015 124.569
20 Australia W. Power Will Power Team Penske 12 26 +0.7092 0.0653 124.454
21 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 24 +0.7479 0.0387 124.386
22 United States C. Herta Colton Herta Andretti Autosport 26 22 +0.7968 0.0489 124.300
23 United States R. Hunter-Reay Ryan Hunter-Reay Ed Carpenter Racing 20 23 +0.8007 0.0039 124.293
24 United States J. Newgarden Josef Newgarden Team Penske 2 23 +0.9837 0.1830 123.972
25 Argentina A. Canapino Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 26 +1.1283 0.1446 123.719
26
R. Robb Ray Robb Dale Coyne Racing
51 31 +1.3890 0.2607 123.266
27 Denmark B. Pedersen Benjamin Pedersen A.J. Foyt Enterprises 55 32 +1.5392 0.1502 123.007

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