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Practice report
IndyCar Laguna Seca

IndyCar Laguna Seca: Herta paces second practice amid three red flags

Crashes for Rasmussen, Robb and Simpson interrupt final practice before qualifying

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta led the way in a second practice session for the IndyCar Series that was blighted by three red flags on Saturday morning at Laguna Seca.

A two-time former winner here, Herta took the top spot with a stout flying lap of 1m08.2300s around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn natural terrain road course. The outing comes after also placing second in the Friday evening’s opening practice.

“It feels really nice,” Herta said. “It felt nice on reds (softer alternate tires) yesterday, I felt good on blacks (harder primary tires) today.

“I think we’re in a good spot. We don’t need to do much and we should be good (for qualifying).”

Team Penske’s Will Power took second, lapping 0.1961s behind the mark set by Herta.

Reigning and two-time IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou, another former winner at the circuit based near Monterey, California, was third at 0.2087s behind.

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin, who led opening practice, was fourth, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward.

Christian Rasmussen, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Christian Rasmussen, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

The first red flag was brought out less than five minutes into the 45-minute session after rookie Christian Rasmussen went off and through the gravel travel, with a portion of the backend of his No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet hitting the Turn 10 tire barrier and snapping back to hit the left-front of the car.

Despite only running three laps, he was quick enough to hold 14th position out of 27 cars.

“I think the rear just kind of stepped out and then we just tank slapped out towards the wall,” Rasmussen said. “Really sucked.

“I feel like we needed that time in the car and I’m just sorry for the boys to have to put the car together before qualifying now. Not what we wanted to do here today.”

Shortly after the session resumed, Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi went to the top of the leaderboard with a 1m08.6153s lap, which dethroned Andretti Global’s Kyle Kirkwood.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou produced quick laps but only enough to go second and third quickest with 35 minutes left, which dropped Kirkwood to fourth.

Another red flag came out with just under 32 minutes to go when Sting Ray Robb’s No. 41 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet ended up stranded in the gravel trap at the top of the Corkscrew.

Once the session resumed once again, the likes of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong bounced into third.

However, the top spot changed hands with 22 minutes remaining after O’Ward hung on to a couple of wild moments to push out a 1m08.5498s flying lap.

With less than 20 minutes to go, the running order was O’Ward, Rossi, Kirkwood, Armstrong and Herta.

Herta propelled to first with roughly 16 minutes to go after nailing a quick lap of 1m08.2300s, with Palou following with a 1m08.4387s run to go second.

Power, who endured a couple of off-track moments throughout the session, was able to put together enough of a lap and vault to second at 1m08.4261s.

A third red flag came out with just over 10 minutes remaining after rookie Kyffin Simpson spun and stalled into the gravel trap at the exit of Turn 9.

The running order remained unchanged at the top the rest of the way.

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Laps 
26 Colton Herta Dallara/Honda 1'08.2300   21
12 Will Power Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.4261 0.1961 27
10 Alex Palou Dallara/Honda 1'08.4387 0.2087 25
3 Scott McLaughlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.4602 0.2302 27
5 Patricio O'Ward Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.4679 0.2379 12
9 Scott Dixon Dallara/Honda 1'08.5235 0.2935 26
60 Felix Rosenqvist Dallara/Honda 1'08.5324 0.3024 23
7 Alexander Rossi Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.6153 0.3853 27
27 Kyle Kirkwood Dallara/Honda 1'08.6319 0.4019 22
10  11 Marcus Armstrong Dallara/Honda 1'08.6590 0.4290 24
11  28 Marcus Ericsson Dallara/Honda 1'08.8245 0.5945 23
12  77 Romain Grosjean Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.8992 0.6692 26
13  45 C.Lundgaard Dallara/Honda 1'08.9225 0.6925 25
14  20 C.Rasmussen Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.9812 0.7512 3
15  4 Kyffin Simpson Dallara/Honda 1'08.9926 0.7626 21
16  15 Graham Rahal Dallara/Honda 1'09.0126 0.7826 28
17  8 Linus Lundqvist Dallara/Honda 1'09.1272 0.8972 28
18  14 Santino Ferrucci Dallara/Chevrolet 1'09.1512 0.9212 24
19  2 Josef Newgarden Dallara/Chevrolet 1'09.2583 1.0283 24
20  66 David Malukas Dallara/Honda 1'09.4340 1.2040 26
21  18 Jack Harvey Dallara/Honda 1'09.4664 1.2364 24
22  41 Sting Ray Robb Dallara/Chevrolet 1'09.4862 1.2562 18
23  30 P.Fittipaldi Dallara/Honda 1'09.5019 1.2719 22
24  78 Agustín Canapino Dallara/Chevrolet 1'09.5311 1.3011 24
25  21 R.van Kalmthout Dallara/Chevrolet 1'09.5780 1.3480 21
26  6 Nolan Siegel Dallara/Chevrolet 1'09.7252 1.4952 28
27  51 Luca Ghiotto Dallara/Honda 1'09.8185 1.5885 26

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