Ryan Hunter-Reay led an Andretti Autosport-Honda 1-2-3-4 in testing at Iowa Speedway on Wednesday, as teams prepared for the 11th round of the season, to be held next week.
In the 11 years since Iowa joined the IndyCar schedule, Andretti Autosport has won seven times, with Hunter-Reay scoring three of those wins. His lap time of 17.72sec – an average of 181.63mph around the 0.894-mile oval – compares with Will Power’s pole run from last year with the manufacturer aerokits, a two-lap average of 17.38sec (185.21mph).
Hunter-Reay, who has moved to second in the championship with his runner-up finish at Road America last weekend, was 0.03sec faster than teammate Alexander Rossi who has the same points score as Hunter-Reay but is officially third in the points race due to RHR’s greater second-place count. Marco Andretti, whose last IndyCar win came at Iowa in 2011, was third, 0.03sec ahead of rookie teammate Zach Veach, who in Indy Lights in 2016 finished second and set fastest lap at Iowa.
Josef Newgarden, who won the Iowa race for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2016, led the Penske contingent and was therefore fastest Chevrolet runner, but Will Power suffered his second engine failure in four days.
Rob Buckner, Chevy’s racing program manager in IndyCar, told Motorsport.com that Power’s engine issue at the start of the Road America race last Sunday “appears to be an ignition system issue. Unburned fuel in the exhaust system was lit off abruptly by adjacent cylinders, leading to a header failure.”
His Iowa test failure is currently being investigated.
Teams are reporting that Iowa Speedway is more bumpy this year and (as is traditional at IndyCar’s shortest track) the tire degradation is high over the course of a stint, which is approximately 85 laps long.
Test times, Iowa Speedway, June 27
1. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport-Honda 17.72sec
2. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport-Honda 17.75sec
3. Marco Andretti Andretti-Herta Autosport-Honda 17.77sec
4. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport-Honda 17.80sec
5. Josef Newgarden Team Penske-Chevrolet 17.84sec
6. Will Power Team Penske-Chevrolet 17.86sec
7. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske-Chevrolet 17.91sec
8. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda 17.99sec
9. Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda 18.10sec
10. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet 18.19sec
11. Gabby Chaves Harding Racing-Chevrolet 18.39sec
12. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet 18.40sec
13. Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 18.71sec