Herta dominates second Laguna Seca test session

Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s rookie Colton Herta set a time over four tenths clear of the IndyCar field in the four-hour afternoon test session at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Herta dominates second Laguna Seca test session

Herta, 19, set a time of 1min10.0720sec, an average of 114.979mph to beat Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power by 0.4663sec.

On his final run on fresh tires, Power was on a theoretically better lap than his previous best when he encountered a slower car at the uphill left Turn 6 and his subsequent off brought out the red flag, earning him a five-minute penalty. The #12 team elected to sit out the remaining seven minutes of the session.

Felix Rosenqvist was another driver who had to serve five minutes in the sin-bin for causing a red flag, but he finished the session third and still turned more laps than anyone – 72 – in the #10 Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda.

Late improvements by the other two Penskes of title contenders Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud saw them improve to fourth and eighth respectively, separated by Graham Rahal, this morning’s pacesetter Scott Dixon, and the fastest Andretti Autosport-Honda, that of Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Newgarden’s nearest title challenger, Alexander Rossi, was ninth, 0.75sec off the ultimate pace and mere hundredths ahead of teammate Zach Veach.

Conor Daly, driving a fifth Andretti car, was a commendable 13th, 0.14sec off his fastest teammate’s time.

First official practice begins at 10.30am local (Pacific) time on Friday.

Session results:

Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap
1 88 Colton Herta Harding Steinbrenner Racing 1:10.072 --.----
2 12 Will Power Team Penske 1:10.538 0.4663
3 10 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing  1:10.590 0.5176
4 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske 1:10.640 0.5684
5 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:10.771 0.6989
6 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing  1:10.789 0.7174
7 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 1:10.809 0.7370
8 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 1:10.813 0.7411
9 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 1:10.823 0.7511
10 26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport 1:10.831 0.7588
11 7 Marcus Ericsson Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:10.888 0.8156
12 19 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing 1:10.947 0.8750
13 25 Conor Daly Andretti Autosport 1:10.948 0.8756
14 18 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan 1:11.075 1.0029
15 59 Max Chilton Carlin 1:11.171 1.0985
16 5 James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:11.231 1.1586
17 14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises 1:11.282 1.2102
18 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian 1:11.299 1.2275
19 23 Charlie Kimball Carlin 1:11.366 1.2942
20 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM 1:11.369 1.2969
21 4 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises 1:11.380 1.3084
22 21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing 1:11.392 1.3199
23 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:11.414 1.3418
24 20 Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing 1:11.438 1.3655
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Dixon leads Herta in IndyCar’s Laguna Seca morning test
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