IndyCar GP Indy: Newgarden edges VeeKay, Power in FP2

Josef Newgarden lapped the 2.439-mile Indianapolis road course in 69.3sec on Firestone’s softer compound tires to eclipse Rinus VeeKay and Will Power and grab top spot for Team Penske-Chevrolet.

IndyCar GP Indy: Newgarden edges VeeKay, Power in FP2

With track temperatures some 30degF higher than this morning, times on the primary Firestone tires initially didn’t dip beneath 70.4sec – a 70.4346 / 124.660mph lap being set by Josef Newgarden in the #2 Team Penske-Chevrolet some 20mins into the session.

At that point, Meyer Shank Racing-Honda’s Jack Harvey was second fastest, ahead of the second Penske of Will Power, which had taken an off-course excursion at Turn 7. Others to have spins or escape-road visits included Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy, Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing and Sebastien Bourdais of AJ Foyt Racing.

However Rosenqvist recovered quickly to bounce into the top three, while Colton Herta – who has re-signed with Andretti Autosport through 2023 – also made it into the Top 3.

However, he was then bumped down by teammate Rossi, and the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda of rookie Romain Grosjean who, like the improving Newgarden, got into the 70.2sec zone.

Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s rookie Jimmie Johnson had been the first driver out on the Firestone ‘red’ alternate compound, but AJ Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett sprung to the top on his soft tires with 15mins left to run.

Then the leading runners put on the reds, and Will Power ducked down to 69.4999sec / 126.337mph to go top, ahead of Harvey and Herta. Remarkably, when Herta improved still further he matched Power’s time to the 10,000th of a second.

Then VeeKay, who took his first pole here at the Harvest GP last fall, edged them both by 0.0979 to go fastest for Carpenter, before Newgarden dug deep trimmed a further 0.07sec off the top time, lapping in 69.3323sec. Power tried again but came up 0.14sec short to remain third despite lightly grazing the wall at the entry of Turn 1.

Herta wound up fourth, half a tenth clear of Scott McLaughlin, Penske’s star rookie who nudged Harvey down by 0.06sec.

Grosjean’s best effort remained good enough to edge compatriot Simon Pagenaud in the fourth Penske, while Arrow McLaren SP pair Pato O’Ward and Rosenqvist completed the Top 10.

Their temporary teammate Juan Pablo Montoya’s return to IndyCar road course action – first time since Sonoma in 2016 – continued to be troubled. He spun on his set of Firestone reds, then spun again after reverting to the primaries and finished up last.

His main 2015 title rival Scott Dixon also suffered a poor showing for Chip Ganassi Racing, ending the session in 23rd after completing just 11 laps. He suffered an apparent clutch issue when trying to pull away from his pitbox.

His teammate Alex Palou, who missed the morning session due to a water leak, got up to speed relatively swiftly on primaries, but was 13th after everyone had switched to reds.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 20 1'09.332   126.642
2 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 17 1'09.402 0.069 126.515
3 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 21 1'09.474 0.142 126.383
4 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 19 1'09.499 0.167 126.337
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 18 1'09.551 0.219 126.243
6 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 17 1'09.619 0.286 126.121
7 France Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 21 1'09.621 0.289 126.116
8 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 19 1'09.737 0.405 125.906
9 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 20 1'09.739 0.407 125.903
10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 17 1'09.774 0.442 125.839
11 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 18 1'09.778 0.446 125.832
12 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 18 1'09.784 0.452 125.821
13 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1'09.845 0.513 125.711
14 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 12 1'09.906 0.574 125.602
15 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 19 1'09.921 0.589 125.575
16 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 21 1'09.972 0.640 125.484
17 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 18 1'09.978 0.646 125.472
18 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 20 1'09.987 0.655 125.456
19 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 22 1'10.118 0.786 125.222
20 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 19 1'10.135 0.803 125.192
21 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 20 1'10.349 1.017 124.811
22 United States Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 17 1'10.683 1.351 124.222
23 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 11 1'10.777 1.444 124.057
24 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 16 1'10.975 1.642 123.711
25 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'11.808 2.475 122.276

 

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