Barber IndyCar: Newgarden heads chaotic second practice

Barber IndyCar: Newgarden heads chaotic second practice
By: Tom Errington
Apr 20, 2018, 9:03 PM

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden ended the second IndyCar practice session at Barber fastest of all in a chaotic session that caused a late dash for fast laptimes.

The afternoon’s running proved to be far more representative of Saturday's qualifying than the earlier first practice session and teams struggled to find a good balance in the hour allocated. 

A late red flag caused by Juncos Racing’s Rene Binder colliding with the tyre walls at Turn 16 was one of many accidents, and it created seven minutes of clean running at the end in a faux-qualifying simulation. 

With the majority of the field on the quicker red compound tires, the top spot was traded by the minute, but it was Newgarden who proved quickest, deposing Ed Carpenter Racing’s impressive Spencer Pigot before then improving his own time to 1m07.4345s. 

Newgarden also typified the IndyCar field’s difficulty to find a comfortable balance, with the Penske driver requiring extensive set-up tweaks midway through the session.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais also benefited from the late run to the flag, going third in the final minutes after he almost hit the wall at Turn 5 earlier on.

Will Power had led the early stages of the practice session on scrubbed black compound tires and ended the day in fourth ahead of Andretti’s Alexander Rossi. 

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon went sixth, while Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was seventh despite a wild off at Turn 3 in the final minutes. Takuma Sato, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal rounded out the top 10. 

Max Chilton continued a decent day for Carlin but finishing 11th ahead of a good showing from DCR’s Zachary Claman de Melo and Simon Pagenaud.

Pagenaud had limited running after he became one of many drivers to be caught out in the long run into Turn 5, skating across the gravel. Andretti’s Zach Veach also caused a red flag with a similar off.

Practice results:

1 1 united_states Josef Newgarden  Team Penske 1'07.4345   122.786
2 21 united_states Spencer Pigot  Ed Carpenter Racing 1'07.5372 0.1027 122.599
3 18 france Sébastien Bourdais  Dale Coyne Racing 1'07.7971 0.3626 122.129
4 12 australia Will Power  Team Penske 1'07.8092 0.3747 122.107
5 27 united_states Alexander Rossi  Andretti Autosport 1'07.8326 0.3981 122.065
6 9 new_zealand Scott Dixon  Chip Ganassi Racing 1'07.8445 0.4100 122.044
7 28 united_states Ryan Hunter-Reay  Andretti Autosport 1'07.8829 0.4484 121.975
8 30 japan Takuma Sato  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'08.0628 0.6283 121.652
9 98 united_states Marco Andretti  Andretti Herta Autosport 1'08.1040 0.6695 121.579
10 15 united_states Graham Rahal  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'08.1076 0.6731 121.572
11 59 united_kingdom Max Chilton  Carlin 1'08.3530 0.9185 121.136
12 19 canada Zachary Claman De Melo  Dale Coyne Racing 1'08.3616 0.9271 121.121
13 22 france Simon Pagenaud  Team Penske 1'08.3698 0.9353 121.106
14 26 united_states Zach Veach  Andretti Autosport 1'08.4867 1.0522 120.899
15 10 united_arab_emirates Ed Jones  Chip Ganassi Racing 1'08.4978 1.0633 120.880
16 6 canada Robert Wickens  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.5755 1.1410 120.743
17 20 united_kingdom Jordan King  Ed Carpenter Racing 1'08.7275 1.2930 120.476
18 5 canada James Hinchcliffe  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.7317 1.2972 120.468
19 23 united_states Charlie Kimball  Carlin 1'08.7466 1.3121 120.442
20 14 brazil Tony Kanaan  A. J. Foyt Enterprises 1'08.9427 1.5082 120.100
21 4 brazil Matheus Leist  A. J. Foyt Enterprises 1'09.2392 1.8047 119.585
22 32 austria Rene Binder  Juncos Racing 1'09.3583 1.9238 119.380
23 88 colombia Gabby Chaves  Harding Racing 1'09.4198 1.9853 119.274
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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Birmingham
Location Barber Motorsports Park
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Teams Team Penske
Author Tom Errington
Article type Practice report