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.
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.
||Chip Ganassi Racing||21||1'00.2082||0.1611||106.789|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||27||1'00.3954||0.3483||106.458|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||19||1'00.4547||0.4076||106.354|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||28||1'00.5009||0.4538||106.273|
||Dale Coyne Racing||20||1'00.6834||0.6363||105.953|
||Arrow McLaren SP||29||1'00.6854||0.6383||105.950|
||Meyer Shank Racing||29||1'00.7251||0.6780||105.880|
||Arrow McLaren SP||25||1'00.7574||0.7103||105.824|
Rinus van Kalmthout
||Ed Carpenter Racing||29||1'00.7847||0.7376||105.777|
||Dale Coyne Racing||20||1'00.8726||0.8255||105.624|
||Ed Carpenter Racing||21||1'00.8927||0.8456||105.589|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||28||1'00.9055||0.8584||105.567|
||Juncos Hollinger Racing||26||1'00.9380||0.8909||105.511|
||Meyer Shank Racing||27||1'01.1110||1.0639||105.212|
||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||27||1'01.2315||1.1844||105.005|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||28||1'01.8323||1.7852||103.984|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||7||1'01.9120||1.8649||103.851|
||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||29||1'02.1370||2.0899||103.475|
|View full results|
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