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Practice report
IndyCar Mid-Ohio

IndyCar Mid-Ohio: Palou fastest in FP1 as new hybrid era begins

Two red flags interrupt the running – Canapino catches fire, Armstrong and Harvey spin off as rain arrives to restrict the lap count

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

The reigning and two-time IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou led the first race weekend session of the hybrid era as rain impacted Friday practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Palou produced a quick lap of 1m07.0650s lap in his Honda-powered car around the repaved 13-turn, 2.258-mile natural terrain road course before rain impacted the opening session for Sunday’s 80-lap race.

Alexander Rossi ended up finishing up second, 0.4443s behind Palou in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Sophomore Marcus Armstrong was third at 0.4792s off the top spot and give Chip Ganassi Racing two cars in the top three spots, but later spun off.

The No. 26 Andretti Global Honda of Colton Herta and No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet driven by Scott McLaughlin concluded fourth and fifth, respectively.

The opening practice session officially signaled the start of the hybrid era in North America’s premier open-wheel championship, with the current 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 internal combustion engine paired with supercapacitor hybrid technology that consists of a low-voltage (48V) motor generator unit (MGU) paired with an energy storage system (ESS).

Graham Rahal put his No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda at the top of the leaderboard with a lap of 1m07.7452s after the initial 25 minutes of the 75-minute session.

But the stage was reset soon after when the red flag came out when Agustin Canapino had heavy smoke trailing from his No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, with TV cameras spotting a flicker of flames in the right-rear corner of his car.

The session resumed after a 14m43s red flag.

With 29 minutes to go, Herta went quickest for a few seconds before Armstrong dethroned him with a 1m07.5442s lap in the No. 11 CGR-Honda.

Palou then delivered his quick lap to go to the top of the leaderboard by almost half a second.

Light rain began falling and the following lap saw another red flag come out after Armstrong spun and went off in Turn 8. Although the hybrid technology allows for the possibility to self-start, he was unable to get it refired and required assistance from the AMR Safety Team.

At the same time, Dale Coyne Racing’s Jack Harvey spun off in Turn 2 and also needed assistance to get going again.

After a lengthy delay, Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward went out on track with rain tires with less than 10 minutes to go, followed by Andretti Global’s Kyle Kirkwood.

Despite the persistent rain enough to dampen the track, there wasn’t enough moisture down on the track surface for the tires to work correctly but it remained too wet to use the softer alternate slick compound.

The wet weather persisted, with few takers to go out on track to combat the conditions as rain isn’t planned in the forecast for the rest of the weekend.

IndyCar Mid-Ohio Free Practice 1 Results 

   
1
 - 
3
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 8

1'07.0650

  121.208
2 United States A. Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 13

+0.4443

1'07.5093

0.4443 120.410
3 New Zealand M. Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 12

+0.4792

1'07.5442

0.0349 120.348
4 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 10

+0.5696

1'07.6346

0.0904 120.187
5 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 14

+0.6177

1'07.6827

0.0481 120.102
6 United States G. Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 12

+0.6802

1'07.7452

0.0625 119.991
7 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 11

+0.7757

1'07.8407

0.0955 119.822
8 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 15

+0.8719

1'07.9369

0.0962 119.652
9 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 16

+0.9344

1'07.9994

0.0625 119.542
10 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 15

+1.0808

1'08.1458

0.1464 119.285
11 United States D. Malukas Meyer Shank Racing 66 10

+1.1418

1'08.2068

0.0610 119.179
12 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 9

+1.1450

1'08.2100

0.0032 119.173
13 United States K. Simpson Chip Ganassi Racing 4 19

+1.1588

1'08.2238

0.0138 119.149
14 Sweden L. Lundqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 8 13

+1.1938

1'08.2588

0.0350 119.088
15
N. Siegel Arrow McLaren
6 14

+1.2002

1'08.2652

0.0064 119.077
16 France R. Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 11

+1.2578

1'08.3228

0.0576 118.976
17 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 13

+1.3073

1'08.3723

0.0495 118.890
18 Sweden M. Ericsson Andretti Global 28 14

+1.3520

1'08.4170

0.0447 118.813
19 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 10

+1.3734

1'08.4384

0.0214 118.775
20 Brazil P. Fittipaldi Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 19

+1.6657

1'08.7307

0.2923 118.270
21 United Kingdom T. Sowery Dale Coyne Racing 51 20

+1.9616

1'09.0266

0.2959 117.763
22 United Kingdom J. Harvey Dale Coyne Racing 18 13

+1.9725

1'09.0375

0.0109 117.745
23 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 10

+1.9946

1'09.0596

0.0221 117.707
24 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 17

+2.0458

1'09.1108

0.0512 117.620
25
C. Rasmussen Ed Carpenter Racing
20 12

+2.1860

1'09.2510

0.1402 117.382
26 Argentina A. Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 6

+2.3735

1'09.4385

0.1875 117.065
27
R. Robb A.J. Foyt Enterprises
41 9

+2.8273

1'09.8923

0.4538 116.305

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