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Herta stays top of IndyCar Spring Training with startling lap

Herta stays top of IndyCar Spring Training with startling lap
Feb 12, 2019, 11:54 PM

Colton Herta laid down a 1min46.6258sec lap at Circuit of The Americas to hold onto his top spot in IndyCar Spring Training in the solo Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda entry.

At the time, with 67mins of the three-hour session still to run, Herta’s time was an amazing 1.4sec quicker than his nearest opposition.

Team Penske’s Will Power whittled that deficit down to 0.48sec three laps from the end, but then spun coming to the final turn.

"I'm super happy with how the day went," said Herta, 2018 Indy Lights runner-up. "We did some great things to the car and I'm very happy with how the boys got everything together in time for this test.

"Everyone did a fantastic job and there were no issues with the car; it was perfect. We kept chipping away and kept finding time. By the end of the day, we were quickest by quite a margin. I can't wait for tomorrow now."

Power's temporary – and previous – teammate Helio Castroneves in a fourth Penske, was allowed to halt his full-fuel load runs to jump up to third place, albeit 1sec off the ultimate lap from Herta.

Rookie Felix Rosenqvist outpaced Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda teammate by 0.0023sec to grab fourth spot, while Simon Pagenaud made it three Penskes in the top six.

Alexander Rossi was fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Hondas in seventh place, a couple of tenths faster than Graham Rahal who showed major improvement from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s form at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca test last Friday.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Santino Ferrucci did a fine job to slot into ninth ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot who, along with Rosenqvist turned the most laps of the session (38).

Marcus Ericsson and James Hinchcliffe were 11th and 12th for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, ahead of Josef Newgarden in the fourth Penske entry.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had to have a tow-in early in the three-hour session, narrowly edged teammate Marco Andretti, while RC Enerson was 18th in the faster of the two Carlin-Chevys.

Ed Jones pipped former teammate Bourdais to ninth, while Kyle Kaiser’s Juncos Racing entry was 24th, 3.25sec off Herta’s pace after missing the morning session.

Tony Kanaan’s AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy lunched its gearbox, so he only completed six laps.

Testing times:

Pos. No Name Time Gap Laps Engine Team
1 88 Colton Herta 1:46.626   22 Honda Harding Steinbrenner Racing
2 12 Will Power 1:47.104 0.4786 28 Chevy Team Penske
3 3 Helio Castroneves 1:47.695 1.0691 36 Chevy Team Penske
4 10 Felix Rosenqvist 1:48.045 1.4193 38 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
5 9 Scott Dixon 1:48.047 1.4216 28 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
6 22 Simon Pagenaud 1:48.058 1.4324 33 Chevy Team Penske
7 27 Alexander Rossi 1:48.122 1.4958 30 Honda Andretti Autosport
8 15 Graham Rahal 1:48.341 1.7152 32 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
9 19 Santino Ferrucci 1:48.385 1.7593 22 Honda Dale Coyne Racing
10 21 Spencer Pigot 1:48.399 1.7729 38 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
11 7 Marcus Ericsson 1:48.406 1.7799 28 Honda Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
12 5 James Hinchcliffe 1:48.410 1.7843 28 Honda Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
13 2 Josef Newgarden 1:48.421 1.7952 22 Chevy Team Penske
14 26 Zach Veach 1:48.569 1.9435 26 Honda Andretti Autosport
15 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:48.710 2.0838 21 Honda Andretti Autosport
16 98 Marco Andretti 1:48.714 2.0885 20 Honda Andretti Herta Autosport
17 60 Jack Harvey 1:48.901 2.2757 27 Honda Meyer Shank Racing
18 23 RC Enerson 1:48.996 2.3697 27 Chevy Carlin
19 20 Ed Jones 1:49.208 2.5819 28 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
20 18 Sebastien Bourdais 1:49.223 2.5973 30 Honda Dale Coyne Racing
21 59 Max Chilton 1:49.266 2.6403 30 Chevy Carlin
22 4 Matheus Leist 1:49.498 2.8717 17 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
23 30 Takuma Sato 1:49.524 2.8981 19 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
24 32 Kyle Kaiser 1:49.875 3.2489 34 Chevy Juncos Racing
25 14 Tony Kanaan 1:51.079 4.4533 6 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Colton Herta
Teams Harding Racing
Author David Malsher