Barber IndyCar: Power fastest in red-flagged first practice

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Barber IndyCar: Power fastest in red-flagged first practice
By: Tom Errington
Apr 20, 2018, 5:19 PM

Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden and current point leader Alexander Rossi caused a red flag each in the first practice session at Barber, as Penske’s Will Power went fastest.

Laptime improvements had been modest in the first half of the session, but the first stoppage, caused by Rossi, shook up the order. 

The Andretti Autosport driver lost the rear end of his car heading into the tight, long right-hander of Turn 15 and came to a stop on the outside grass. 

When the session resumed after a few minutes under red flag conditions, Newgarden was first to top the times with a lap of 1m07.9141s.

Power quickly went second as he lapped 0.2375s slower than Newgarden, and it was then a trio of IndyCar champions with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon lapping third moments later. 

The increasingly quick laptimes were paused not long after as Newgarden suffered snap oversteer on the long run down to the heavy braking zone of Turn 5, spearing him across the gravel and to a stop. 

He was helped back onto the track and on his return to the pits was an eventful one as he sprayed the gravel debris on the track. 

After four tires were changed on his car and debris removed, he returned to the track and had no answer to Power’s improved benchmark of 1m07.5987s set moments before Newgarden’s off. 

Dixon was the next best finisher to Penske in third, while Carlin’s Max Chilton was an impressive fourth place. Dixon’s teammate Ed Jones was fifth ahead of the third Penske car of Simon Pagenaud.

Jordan King set his best lap in the final minutes for Ed Carpenter Racing to go seventh, relegating Graham Rahal to eighth.

The top 10 was rounded out by Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and Andretti’s Zach Veach, with the second Carlin entry of Charlie Kimball finishing 12th behind Takuma Sato.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had struggled at Barber in pre-season testing and did so again in first practice, with Robert Wickens finishing 13th and his teammate James Hinchcliffe only 18th.

Rossi’s earlier red flag disrupted his session, meaning he was only 20th at the flag.

First practice results:

Pos.#DriverTeamTimeGapMph
1 12 australia Will Power  Team Penske 1'07.5987   122.488
2 1 united_states Josef Newgarden  Team Penske 1'07.9141 0.3154 121.919
3 9 new_zealand Scott Dixon  Chip Ganassi Racing 1'08.2627 0.6640 121.296
4 59 united_kingdom Max Chilton  Carlin 1'08.2882 0.6895 121.251
5 10 united_arab_emirates Ed Jones  Chip Ganassi Racing 1'08.3086 0.7099 121.215
6 22 france Simon Pagenaud  Team Penske 1'08.3122 0.7135 121.208
7 20 united_kingdom Jordan King  Ed Carpenter Racing 1'08.3661 0.7674 121.113
8 15 united_states Graham Rahal  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'08.3964 0.7977 121.059
9 18 france Sébastien Bourdais  Dale Coyne Racing 1'08.4131 0.8144 121.029
10 26 united_states Zach Veach  Andretti Autosport 1'08.4216 0.8229 121.014
11 30 japan Takuma Sato  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'08.4757 0.8770 120.919
12 23 united_states Charlie Kimball  Carlin 1'08.5216 0.9229 120.838
13 6 canada Robert Wickens  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'08.5495 0.9508 120.789
14 98 united_states Marco Andretti  Andretti Herta Autosport 1'08.7316 1.1329 120.469
15 28 united_states Ryan Hunter-Reay  Andretti Autosport 1'08.7758 1.1771 120.391
16 21 united_states Spencer Pigot  Ed Carpenter Racing 1'08.9642 1.3655 120.062
17 19 canada Zachary Claman De Melo  Dale Coyne Racing 1'09.0682 1.4695 119.882
18 5 canada James Hinchcliffe  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'09.0896 1.4909 119.844
19 4 brazil Matheus Leist  A. J. Foyt Enterprises 1'09.1182 1.5195 119.795
20 27 united_states Alexander Rossi  Andretti Autosport 1'09.2393 1.6406 119.585
21 14 brazil Tony Kanaan  A. J. Foyt Enterprises 1'09.2883 1.6896 119.501
22 88 colombia Gabby Chaves  Harding Racing 1'09.6762 2.0775 118.835
23 32 austria Rene Binder  Juncos Racing 1'09.9615 2.3628 118.351
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About this article

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