IndyCar Mid-Ohio: Herta grabs pole for Race 2, Ferrucci second

On a wet but drying track, Colton Herta led Group 2 in qualifying for Race 2, thereby grabbing pole ahead of Santino Ferrucci who had topped Group 1, while a spin for yesterday’s winner Will Power will oblige him to start near the back of the field.

IndyCar Mid-Ohio: Herta grabs pole for Race 2, Ferrucci second

The start of qualifying was delayed by 30mins as low-hanging cloud had slowed the arrival of the medical helicopter. Heavy rain earlier in the morning obliged drivers in Group 1 to head out on rain tires, slithering around on the treacherous blend of wet asphalt and leaking sealant.

Takuma Sato, Alex Palou, and the Andretti Autosport-Hondas of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi all suffered spins. But it was Charlie Kimball that brought out the first red flag with a spin and stall exiting Turn 1 in his AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy. At that point, Simon Pagenaud had put his Team Penske-Chevy on top, ahead of Santino Ferrucci’s Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan-Honda, Rossi, Oliver Askew of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy.

But Pagenaud ran off the road at the penultimate corner, allowing Ferrucci and Hunter-Reay ahead on the track, and ahead on the timing screens. Palou in the Coyne with Team Goh sister car to Ferrucci moved up to second but then pitted while Ferrucci carried on chiseling away at his time, eventually winding up 3.24sec faster than Palou.

Pagenaud later recovered to edge Hunter-Reay and Rossi for third.

Group 2 began with Power trying to pass Josef Newgarden at Turn 2 to get a clear track ahead, but with the champion hanging on around the outside, yesterday’s winner was obliged to exit the corner on the slippery line and lost the rear. Looping to the outside, he got beached on the curb and that brought out the reds. Zach Veach joined him on the inside of the track, while further around the lap, Jack Harvey spun and went off at Turn 12, making solid rear end contact with the tire wall. None of the three would be allowed further participation in the session, although for Harvey that was a moot point.

Marco Andretti elected to restart the session on slicks but the session went red again almost immediately as Pato O’Ward spun and beached his Arrow McLaren SP #5 in the sandtrap at Turn 2.

Andretti ran out of track time for his tactics to work, however, as there was still so much dampness in Turn 11 and he fell 1.2sec off the ultimate pace.

That was set by Herta who scored his third IndyCar pole with a 1min26.279sec lap, 0.8sec ahead of the Chip Ganassi Racing-Hondas of Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist. Andretti was fourth, fast enough to bump Newgarden down to fifth, and therefore a P9 start.

The second round of the Honda Indy 200 is set to begin at 1pm local (Eastern) time.

GROUP 1

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 United States Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 1'27.468   92.934
2 Spain Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh 1'30.710 3.241 89.612
3 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'31.735 4.267 88.611
4 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'31.909 4.440 88.443
5 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'32.701 5.232 87.688
6 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'33.162 5.693 87.254
7 United States Oliver Askew Arrow McLaren SP 1'33.468 5.999 86.969
8 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'34.334 6.865 86.170
9 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 1'35.027 7.558 85.542
10 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'35.078 7.609 85.496
11 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'39.809 12.340 81.443
12 United States Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises      

GROUP 2

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Mph
1 United States Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport 1'26.278   94.215
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'27.099 0.820 93.328
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'27.141 0.862 93.283
4 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 1'27.460 1.182 92.942
5 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'28.417 2.138 91.937
6 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'29.035 2.756 91.298
7 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 1'29.235 2.956 91.094
8 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'30.265 3.986 90.055
9 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske      
10 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing      
11 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP      

 

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