Practice report

Toronto IndyCar: Herta turns 107mph lap, Palou and Grosjean shunt

Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Colton Herta ran the first 107mph lap of the weekend at Toronto to claim top spot in second practice, while teammate Romain Grosjean and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou both were among those who found the wall.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

The start of the session was delayed by over 30mins as the AMR Safety Team and Toronto track workers rebuilt the Turn 3 wall and fence and replaced electrical cables, following a heavy shunt in the supporting Porsche Carrera Cup North America qualifying session.

The first casualty of the session was Josef Newgarden, who felt his Chevrolet go into “engine protection mode” so that he had to cruise back to the pits and was done for the session.

Then defending champion and the man around whom there is so much talk, Alex Palou, tagged the Turn 1 wall on the inside, which sent the #10 Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda across the track and into the wall on the outside, so he damaged the front and rear suspension on the left side, too.

Meanwhile David Malukas, encountering the 1.786-mile street course for the first time in an IndyCar, went to the top of the times with a 60.6834sec in the Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda, just ahead of circuit star and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud of Meyer Shank Racing-Honda.

Romain Grosjean, newcomer to the track, slotted his Andretti Autosport-Honda into third, as teammate Colton Herta reached P1 with a 60.4871sec lap, 106.297mph. But Grosjean ran long at Turn 1, and while he spun-turned it and resumed on track, exiting the final turn next time by, the rear of the DHL #28 car stepped out and hit the wall hard with its right-rear. Out came the red flag for a second time, as Grosjean limped his crippled car back to the pits.

As the session resumed, Graham Rahal, who excelled yesterday too, jumped to third in the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, and Felix Rosenqvist became top Chevrolet runner with fourth fastest time for Arrow McLaren SP. Rahal then improved again, to draw within 0.045sec of Herta’s top time, before six-time champion and three-time Toronto winner Scott Dixon slotted into that gap to claim second for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Dixon chipped more hundredths off his best time next time by to move to top spot with a 60.4547sec/106.354mph lap, while teammate and championship leader Marcus Ericsson claimed sixth.

With seven minutes to go, Scott McLaughlin, a driver who prior to this weekend hadn’t encountered this track at all, then produced a brilliant 60.3389sec on his 26th lap of the session to jump to top spot, as Ericsson also found more time to fall just 0.0589sec short on his first attempt, then eclipse the Penske-Chevrolet driver by 0.1307sec to jump to the top with a 60.2082sec.

Three-time Toronto winner Will Power delivered a 60.3322 to claim second and fastest of the Chevy runners… which then became third when Herta hit the top with a 60.0471sec, the first 107mph lap of the weekend – 107.076mph to be precise.

With just a minute remaining, Takuma Sato struck the wall hard in Turn 6 and had to stop, which effectively ended the session early.

Rookie Christian Lundgaard emphasized the progress RLL has made with a late improvement to fifth, just ahead of Dixon and Rahal.

Malukas’ best effort kept him in the Top 10 ahead of Rosenqvist. Yesterday’s pacesetter Rossi claimed only 10th, but was held up on his fastest run by a car pulling out of the pits and holding him up exiting Turn 2. Friday’s second-fastest driver, Pagenaud, informed NBC that he was struggling to keep the rear end of his #60 Meyer Shank car under control.

Qualifying for the 36th Honda Indy Toronto will commence at 2.00pm local (Eastern) time.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 United States Colton Herta
United States Andretti Autosport 27 1'00.0471 107.076
2 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 21 1'00.2082 0.1611 106.789
3 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 26 1'00.3322 0.2851 106.570
4 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 26 1'00.3389 0.2918 106.558
5 Denmark Christian Lundgaard
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 27 1'00.3954 0.3483 106.458
6 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 19 1'00.4547 0.4076 106.354
7 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 28 1'00.5009 0.4538 106.273
8 United States David Malukas
United States Dale Coyne Racing 20 1'00.6834 0.6363 105.953
9 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
United States Arrow McLaren SP 29 1'00.6854 0.6383 105.950
10 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 22 1'00.6924 0.6453 105.937
11 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Meyer Shank Racing 29 1'00.7251 0.6780 105.880
12 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
United States Arrow McLaren SP 25 1'00.7574 0.7103 105.824
13 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 29 1'00.7847 0.7376 105.777
14 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Dale Coyne Racing 20 1'00.8726 0.8255 105.624
15 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 21 1'00.8927 0.8456 105.589
16 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 28 1'00.9055 0.8584 105.567
17 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
United States Andretti Autosport 27 1'00.9374 0.8903 105.512
18 United Kingdom Callum Ilott
United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 26 1'00.9380 0.8909 105.511
19 France Romain Grosjean
United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'00.9964 0.9493 105.409
20 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Meyer Shank Racing 27 1'01.1110 1.0639 105.212
21 United States Kyle Kirkwood
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 27 1'01.2315 1.1844 105.005
22 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 28 1'01.8323 1.7852 103.984
23 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 7 1'01.9120 1.8649 103.851
24 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 29 1'02.1370 2.0899 103.475
25 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 1 1'21.9432 21.8961 78.464


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