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Practice report
IndyCar Toronto

IndyCar Toronto: Kirkwood pips Grosjean by 0.05s in practice

Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood set the fastest time in the opening IndyCar practice session around the bumpy streets of Toronto on Friday afternoon.

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

Kirkwood topped the 75-minute session around the 11-turn, 1.786-mile Exhibition Place street course with a best lap of 1m00.8075s.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s rookie Marcus Armstrong set the early pace at 1m03.8989s as drivers encountered a track that was bumpier than ever after a brutal winter in the Canadian city.

Sections of the track had been resurfaced since, but the patchwork quality of the asphalt was causing cars to bottom out regularly – especially with the manhole covers positioned under braking at Turn 8 and near the apex of Turn 10. Graham Rahal labelled it: “Ridiculously bumpy, stupid.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing held a 1-2 after 30 minutes of running, with Jack Harvey heading Christian Lundgaard. Local hero Devlin DeFrancesco spent a turn at the top for Andretti Autosport before his team-mates Colton Herta and Kirkwood, the Long Beach GP winner, took over.

Ganassi’s Scott Dixon hit the front after 40 minutes with 1m02.2594s but was quickly beaten by points-leading team-mate Alex Palou by 0.004s, with a time of 1m02.2554s.

Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi ran later than most and jumped to the top with 1m02.0383s before brushing the wall at the exit of the final corner. Kirkwood re-emerged to beat that with 1m01.8639s, which remained the fastest time set on the primary tires, with the McLarens of Rossi and Pato O’Ward just about a tenth behind.

Teams then switched to the softer alternate rubber, which have green sidewalls this weekend, led by Lundgaard with 1m01.6996s, who was quickly beaten by Palou on 1m01.3233s and then Kirkwood retook P1 with 1m01.1237s.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Herta and then Romain Grosjean made it a brief Andretti 1-2-3, until the McLarens of Rosenqvist (second) and Rossi (fourth but clipped the wall again) mixed it up.

Kirkwood wasn’t to be denied, however, snatching P1 with 40s remaining with 1m00.8075s. Grosjean was 0.05s behind in second, ahead of Rosenqvist, Herta, Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske), Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi), Rossi and O’Ward. Palou slipped to 12th.

Tom Blomqvist got his first taste of an IndyCar race weekend, subbing for the yet-to-be-cleared Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing. He finished the session 26th, almost 3s off the pace but ahead of Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt Racing).

Second practice starts on Saturday at 10:35am local time.

Read Also:
Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 24 1'00.8075     105.737
2 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 25 1'00.8575 0.0500 0.0500 105.650
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 21 1'00.8607 0.0532 0.0032 105.645
4 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 23 1'00.9135 0.1060 0.0528 105.553
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 25 1'00.9700 0.1625 0.0565 105.455
6 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 26 1'00.9940 0.1865 0.0240 105.414
7 United States Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 23 1'01.0207 0.2132 0.0267 105.368
8 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 26 1'01.1382 0.3307 0.1175 105.165
9 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 23 1'01.2419 0.4344 0.1037 104.987
10 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 25 1'01.2584 0.4509 0.0165 104.959
11 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 26 1'01.2794 0.4719 0.0210 104.923
12 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 21 1'01.3233 0.5158 0.0439 104.848
13 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 27 1'01.6128 0.8053 0.2895 104.355
14 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 24 1'01.6241 0.8166 0.0113 104.336
15 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 21 1'01.6735 0.8660 0.0494 104.252
16 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 27 1'01.6983 0.8908 0.0248 104.210
17 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 33 1'01.6996 0.8921 0.0013 104.208
18 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Ed Carpenter Racing 28 1'01.8491 1.0416 0.1495 103.956
19 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 20 1'01.9518 1.1443 0.1027 103.784
20 Argentina Agustin Canapino United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 26 1'02.2066 1.3991 0.2548 103.359
21 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 28 1'02.4657 1.6582 0.2591 102.930
22 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United States Chip Ganassi Racing 34 1'02.5015 1.6940 0.0358 102.871
23 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 29 1'02.5869 1.7794 0.0854 102.731
24 Ray Robb United States Dale Coyne Racing 32 1'03.1799 2.3724 0.5930 101.767
25 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 36 1'03.6148 2.8073 0.4349 101.071
26 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist United States Meyer Shank Racing 39 1'03.7979 2.9904 0.1831 100.781
27 United States Santino Ferrucci United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 27 1'04.0831 3.2756 0.2852 100.332

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