Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou leads second follow

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Colton Herta had labored right down to a 72.9450sec in his Andretti Herta Autosport-Honda, when Graham Rahal spun his Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda exiting the highest of the Corkscrew and stalled, inflicting a crimson flag.

Juncos Hollinger Racing’s rookie Callum Ilott delivered a 72.34, then a 71.9899sec to go prime forward of fellow rookies David Malukas and Christian Lundgaard. As in Portland, Ilott was shining at a observe the place he gained expertise final yr, and he was over three-tenths of a second away from his nearest rival on the time.

The primary of the Crew Penske-Chevrolet drivers to set a consultant lap was Scott McLaughlin, who set a 72.6457 on his first flyer.

On the exit of Flip 9, Pato O’Ward bought barely sideways in his Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet, however then bought irredeemably sideways approaching Flip 10 and skated backward over the gravel and required rescuing.

The session resumed with 24mins remaining, and Romain Grosjean moved his Andretti Autosport-Honda as much as second, halving Ilott’s benefit, however the adjustments weren’t coming shortly as drivers have been doing lengthy runs. Scott McLaughlin did a 10-lap run on his primaries and noticed solely one-second fall-off from first lap to final, however that low degradation was aided by the cool temperatures – 68degF ambient and 82degF observe temp.

With 13mins to go, Alexander Rossi shaded Ilott’s time by a mere 0.0086sec, after which out got here a number of drivers on recent rubber and the order began shuffling. Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, who topped a take a look at right here two weeks in the past, claimed prime spot with a 71.6510sec effort – three-tenths faster than Rossi. Whereas Rossi then improved, so too did Palou, getting right down to 71.3847s, a 112.865mph common.

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Colton Herta moved as much as third, 0.15sec behind teammate Rossi and now forward of rookie Rookie of the Yr contender Christian Lundgaard of RLL and Simon Pagenaud’s Meyer Shank Racing-Honda.

On a set of recent primaries, Scott Dixon moved into sixth, however 0.5866sec off pace-setting teammate Palou, then trimmed that deficit to 0.5345 and moved as much as fourth.

Nevertheless, with their remaining efforts Crew Penske-Chevrolet’s title battlers Will Energy and Josef Newgarden moved as much as third and fourth.

Paretta Autosport-Chevrolet’s Simona De Silvestro was 25th however solely 0.5sec and 0.8sec off her teammates at Ed Carpenter Racing, Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay respectively.

 

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