Road America IndyCar: Grosjean leads practice, Askew stars

Romain Grosjean topped opening practice for IndyCar’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, but no less impressive was Oliver Askew delivering P9 as he subs for the injured Rinus VeeKay.

Grosjean’s Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda lapped the 4.014-mile course in 1min47.6781sec, an average speed of 134.200mph, eclipsing the best efforts of second fastest Ryan Hunter-Reay by 0.1243sec.

Top Penske honors went to Josef Newgarden in third who was a mere 0.04sec slower than Hunter-Reay, and only a hundredth ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s best effort, a 1min47.8515 from Alex Palou, who scored his first ever IndyCar podium here last year with Dale Coyne Racing.

Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda and Colton Herta in a second Andretti entry were within half a second of top spot but Herta, along with Penske’s Will Power (10th fastest) survived off-track excursions at the end of one of their earlier flying laps.

Sebastien Bourdais, a former winner here, was seventh fastest for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet, ahead of Penske’s rookie, Scott McLaughlin.

But it was 2019 Indy Lights champion Askew who stole the show with eighth fastest. Last week he made his season debut subbing for Felix Rosenqvist at Arrow McLaren SP, his old team, yet this week was called on to fill in for the injured Rinus VeeKay at Ed Carpenter Racing. Remarkably, despite not being granted the extra set of tires that all rookies get in the opening practice session , Askew was just 0.6sec off top spot.

Askew also starred off-track - albeit unintentionally - with this inadvertent reminder of how he got his ride this weekend:

 

Behind Power was the season’s only two-time winner, Pato O’Ward, while the two series debutants this weekend – Cody Ware in the second Coyne-RWR entry and Kevin Magnussen in the Arrow McLaren SP – finished up 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Ed Jones was unable to take part in practice because of a small fire in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan-Honda.

Tomorrow’s second practice begins at 10.10am local (Central) time, with qualifying following at 1.30pm and final practice at 4.30pm.

Practice results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 51 France Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'47.678  
2 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'47.802 0.124
3 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'47.841 0.163
4 10 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'47.851 0.173
5 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'48.093 0.415
6 26 United States Colton Herta Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 1'48.140 0.462
7 14 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'48.248 0.570
8 3 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 1'48.284 0.606
9 21 United States Oliver Askew United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'48.300 0.621
10 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'48.343 0.665
11 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 1'48.425 0.747
12 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'48.441 0.763
13 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'48.456 0.778
14 20 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'48.662 0.984
15 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'48.669 0.990
16 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'48.737 1.059
17 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'48.983 1.305
18 8 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'49.024 1.346
19 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 1'49.367 1.689
20 29 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1'49.535 1.857
21 48 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'50.076 2.398
22 52 United States Cody Ware Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'50.298 2.620
23 7 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Arrow McLaren SP 1'50.492 2.814
24 4 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'50.494 2.816
25 18 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan    
 

 

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