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Practice report
IndyCar St. Pete

St. Pete IndyCar: Grosjean leads first practice of the year

Romain Grosjean, in his first official session for Andretti Autosport-Honda, led the opening practice session of the 2022 IndyCar season, a tenth of a second faster than teammate Colton Herta.

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda

Aside from installation laps, in the first 10 minutes the action was provided by rookies, as they were granted an extra set of primaries for this session. Andretti Autosport-Honda’s newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco was the first to break the 62sec barrier around this 1.8-mile course, clocking a 61.8256sec lap, an average of 104.811mph.

His former Indy Lights teammate Kyle Kirkwood got very close in the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet, and eventually surpassed him, but by then three-time St. Pete winner Helio Castroneves had vaulted the Meyer Shank Racing-Honda to the top with a 61.6086.

That time held strong until Andretti Autosport’s veterans hit the track, at which point the team’s star signing Romain Grosjean delivered a 61.0525sec, with defending St. Pete winner 0.3241sec back.

At this point, top Chevrolet performer in third was Team Penske’s series sophomore Scott McLaughlin in third, until teammate and nine-time St. Pete polesitter Will Power slotted into second overall.

Herta reclaimed that position with his next flyer, his deficit to Grosjean down to 0.1042sec, while Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey had moved their Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Hondas into fourth and sixth, split by a third Andretti car, that of Alexander Rossi.

With 11mins to go, Simon Pagenaud in his first official session with Meyer Shank moved into fourth, but three minutes later Jimmie Johnson skittered into the Turn 10 run-off in the #48 Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda. Despite his front brake catching fire while he was sitting still, the seven-time NASCAR champion kept his cool, and shuffled his way out without needing help from the marshals, but the incident had brought out the red flag.

There were late improvements after the short delay, the most notable of which was Rinus VeeKay shooting into ninth with his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy, while David Malukas ended the session as top rookie in 10th for Dale Coyne Racing-Honda, two slots ahead of his 2021 Indy Lights rival Kirkwood.

Surprising under-performers included two-time St. Pete winner Josef Newgarden in 14th despite turning his fastest lap at the close of the session. Yet that was still enough to put him ahead of all the Chip Ganassi Racing-Hondas, the best of which was Marcus Ericsson in 15th.

The Arrow McLaren SP-Chevys were also surprisingly adrift, Felix Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward finishing up 16th and 21st.

Read Also:
Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 14 1'01.052   106.138
2 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 19 1'01.156 0.104 105.957
3 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 18 1'01.228 0.175 105.834
4 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 18 1'01.324 0.272 105.667
5 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 13 1'01.368 0.315 105.592
6 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 17 1'01.457 0.404 105.440
7 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'01.490 0.437 105.382
8 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 18 1'01.535 0.482 105.305
9 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 17 1'01.552 0.499 105.276
10 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 22 1'01.588 0.536 105.214
11 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 18 1'01.608 0.556 105.180
12 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 22 1'01.617 0.565 105.165
13 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 21 1'01.663 0.610 105.087
14 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 18 1'01.690 0.637 105.041
15 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'01.692 0.639 105.038
16 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'01.726 0.674 104.979
17 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 17 1'01.726 0.674 104.979
18 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 19 1'01.746 0.693 104.946
19 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 17 1'01.761 0.709 104.919
20 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'01.774 0.722 104.897
21 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'01.829 0.777 104.804
22 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 23 1'02.157 1.105 104.251
23 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 23 1'02.244 1.192 104.105
24 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 13 1'02.424 1.372 103.805
25 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 22 1'02.524 1.472 103.639
26 Colombia Tatiana Calderon United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 22 1'03.717 2.664 101.699
 

 

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