Mid-Ohio IndyCar: Newgarden leads O’Ward in opening practice

Josef Newgarden put Team Penske-Chevrolet on top in first practice for the NTT IndyCar Series’ 10th round, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course.

Mid-Ohio IndyCar: Newgarden leads O’Ward in opening practice

The two-time IndyCar champion was a quarter second ahead of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet’s Pato O’Ward with an average speed of 120.870mph around the 2.258-mile course near Lexington, OH.

Barely eight-hundredths slower was Jack Harvey in the Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, the hometown team, with semi-teammate Alexander Rossi leading the Andretti Autosport-Honda contingent.

Local hero Graham Rahal was fifth fastest, although teammate Takuma Sato had an off in the penultimate turn which cost him some track time as he got the nose wings and suspension repaired.

Not surprisingly, Romain Grosjean shone again, clocking sixth fastest in the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda, half a second from top spot, and ahead of the six-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon, of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda.

Sebastien Bourdais put in a spectacular final lap for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy which couldn’t quite eclipse his best effort that left him seventh but ahead of championship leader Alex Palou (Ganassi).

James Hinchcliffe, who has appeared to be struggling for form this year, made it into the top 10, just ahead of five-time Mid-Ohio pole-winner Will Power.

Making his comeback after his Detroit Race 1 shunt, Felix Rosenqvist caused a red flag with a spin in the second Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet, but eventually landed a time half a second off teammate O’Ward.

Colton Herta, who along with Power, scored a race win in Mid-Ohio’s double-header last year, had a huge moment after the blind crest leading through Thunder Valley, but survived it without brushing a wall, and finished the session in 14th.

Rinus VeeKay finished the session within a hundredth of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy teammate Conor Daly, as the Dutchman drove an IndyCar in anger for the first time since breaking his scapula when on a training ride.

Ryan Norman, a decent Indy Lights driver making his IndyCar debut for Dale Coyne Racing this weekend, did a thoroughly respectable job to end up 1.55sec from the ultimate pace, while Jimmie Johnson – who had never driven any type of car at Mid-Ohio – was 2.56sec off the pace, 2.1sec off fastest teammate Dixon.

Second practice begins at 9.05am local (Eastern) time Saturday morning.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 17 1'07.252 120.870
2 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Arrow McLaren SP 15 1'07.505 0.252 120.418
3 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Meyer Shank Racing 16 1'07.584 0.331 120.277
4 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 18 1'07.724 0.472 120.027
5 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 18 1'07.756 0.503 119.971
6 France Romain Grosjean
United States Dale Coyne Racing 17 1'07.758 0.506 119.967
7 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'07.765 0.513 119.954
8 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 18 1'07.771 0.518 119.945
9 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'07.795 0.542 119.902
10 Canada James Hinchcliffe
United States Andretti Autosport 16 1'07.822 0.569 119.854
11 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 19 1'07.886 0.633 119.741
12 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 16 1'08.004 0.752 119.533
13 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 18 1'08.026 0.774 119.495
14 United States Colton Herta
United States Andretti Autosport 14 1'08.033 0.780 119.483
15 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 16 1'08.074 0.821 119.411
16 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 22 1'08.156 0.903 119.267
17 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 18 1'08.231 0.978 119.136
18 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 21 1'08.236 0.984 119.127
19 United Kingdom Max Chilton
United Kingdom Carlin 18 1'08.310 1.057 118.998
20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
United States Dale Coyne Racing 16 1'08.352 1.100 118.925
21 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 21 1'08.410 1.157 118.825
22 United States Ryan Norman
United States Dale Coyne Racing 17 1'08.812 1.559 118.130
23 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 20 1'09.069 1.817 117.690
24 United States Santino Ferrucci
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 17 1'09.097 1.844 117.643
25 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 12 1'09.682 2.430 116.655
26 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 25 1'09.816 2.564 116.431
 

 

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