Herta leads 11-car IndyCar test at Gateway, McLaughlin impresses

Colton Herta led Alexander Rossi in an Andretti Autosport 1-2 in testing at Gateway’s World Wide Technology Raceway, but Team Penske-Chevrolet rookie Scott McLaughlin was an eye-catching third.

The 1.25-mile track on the Missouri/Illinois border will feature the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series’ 13th of 16 rounds, and the fourth and last oval race of the season.

Herta, who finished fourth – his best oval finish in IndyCar – and sixth in last year’s double-header at WWTR, topped the speeds in Tuesday’s test with a 180.990mph lap. That was a mere 0.235mph faster than his teammate, 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

Rookie McLaughlin was the only Team Penske-Chevrolet driver present, and he wound up third, around 0.6mph adrift of Herta. The New Zealander has taken well to ovals since moving across from Supercars, outqualifying his illustrious teammates in the Indianapolis 500, and scoring his first podium finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

Ed Jones took time out early in the day to check the setup of his Dale Coyne Racing teammate Romain Grosjean, set to make his oval race debut at WWTR next month, before turning in fourth-best time of the day in the DCR with Vasser-Sullivan entry.

Ryan Hunter-Reay made it five cars in the 180mph bracket with fifth quickest in his #28 Andretti Autosport entry, ahead of the fourth AA car of James Hinchcliffe.

Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy’s Rinus VeeKay, who like Herta scored a sixth and a fourth at Gateway last year, was seventh fastest after turning more laps than anyone, while Grosjean was eighth in the DCR with Rick Ware Racing entry, managing to spin without hitting anything.

The two AJ Foyt-Racing-Chevys were ninth and tenth ahead of Ed Carpenter.

RANK

DRIVER

TEAM

ENGINE

QUICK LAP (mph)

DIFF (mph)

TOTAL LAPS

1

Colton Herta

Andretti Autosport

Honda

180.990

——

114

2

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

180.755

-0.235

118

3

Scott McLaughlin

Team Penske

Chevy

180.395

-0.595

169

4

Ed Jones

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

Honda

180.123

-0.867

103

5

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

180.062

-0.928

111

6

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

Honda

179.397

-1.593

108

7

Rinus VeeKay

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevy

179.042

-1.948

171

8

Romain Grosjean

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

Honda

177.427

-3.563

166

9

Sebastien Bourdais

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Chevy

176.758

-4.232

91

10

Dalton Kellett

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Chevy

176.046

-4.944

170

11

Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevy

175.672

-5.318

159

 

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