By Steve Wittich and Tony DiZinno..  Trackside Online

For the fifth time on a natural terrain road course, it was Colton Herta who led a practice session. The 19-year-old rookie led a pair of practice sessions on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The four Andretti Autosport drivers and affiliated driver Herta were all in the top ten. That’s not surprising since they were the only team to test before the event.

Herta’s lap of 57.429 seconds was just a little slower than the quickest lap of 57.398 seconds set by Sebastien Bourdais in last year’s first practice session.

Championship contenders position on the timesheet
2 – Alexander Rossi
3 – Scott Dixon
4 – Josef Newgarden
12 – Simon Pagenaud

The first of three NTT IndyCar Series practice session began on time at 10:50 am. The air temperature was 71F, and the track temperature was 81F.

The 23-drivers all took to the 1.964-mile, 12-Turn road course to complete an install lap.

Felix Rosenqvist, who is back in the familiar blue NTT Data sponsored No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, was the first driver to turn a lap in anger.

That’s not surprising since rookies receive an extra set of Black Tires for the race weekend. Each team gets seven sets of the Firestone Racing Primary (Black) Racing Tires, and four sets of Firestone Racing Alternate (Red) Racing Tires.

The tires this weekend are familiar to the teams. They aren’t the same that was used last year, but they are the same tires that were used at the previous road course race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Swedish driver was also the first driver to miss Turn 1, snaking his way through the barriers preventing drivers from blowing through the Festival Curves.

Those barriers are a little different than last year when they were sandwich boards held down by sandbags. We’ll do some research and get back to you how they are anchored in place this year.

Rosenqvist was the quickest driver at the one-quarter pole of the 45-minute first practice session. At that point of the session, only eight drivers had turned laps at speed.

Veach, who along with his Andretti Autosport teammates tested at Portland International Raceway earlier this month, had a wild ride at through Turn 6, bouncing through the grass before re-joining the track just before Turn 7.

With 25-minutes left in the session, James Hinchcliffe was the first driver to end up facing the wrong way. The Canadian spun at the exit of Turn 2. He kept his Honda HI19TT running and was able to continue. He was the second quickest driver at the time. The Canadian spun again in the same spot late in the session.

Herta went to the top of the timing sheet with 20-minutes remaining in the session.

With 15-minutes remaining in the session, Herta’s lap at 57.429 seconds was the quickest of the 23 drivers. The rest of the top 10 were: Rossi, Dixon, Newgarden, Andretti, Hinchcliffe, Veach, Rosenqvist, Hunter-Reay and Sato.

In the last 10-minutes, plenty of drivers, including veterans Dixon and Graham Rahal dropped wheels as they were pushing on fresh Firestones.

Newgarden was pushing hard at the end of the session, locking up the brakes into Turn 1 and taking the run-off through the barriers.

About the same time, we had a close call between Max Chilton and Simon Pagenaud in the Festival Curves. Chilton came out of the pits, got on the racing line and impeded Pagenaud who had taken an evasive line.

Honda drivers set nine of the ten quickest laps.

Grand Prix of Portland practice #1 results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM ENGINE FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 88 Colton Herta Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda 57.429 –.—- 18
2 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 57.554 0.1245 15
3 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Honda 57.792 0.3629 19
4 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevy 57.850 0.4211 17
5 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda 57.901 0.4713 16
6 5 James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 57.948 0.5186 18
7 26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 57.962 0.5326 19
8 10 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Honda 58.026 0.5969 27
9 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 58.162 0.7325 18
10 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 58.191 0.7613 19
11 12 Will Power Team Penske Chevy 58.234 0.8050 21
12 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevy 58.329 0.9001 19
13 4 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevy 58.338 0.9088 23
14 59 Max Chilton Carlin Chevy 58.344 0.9143 18
15 18 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 58.426 0.9963 17
16 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 58.462 1.0323 19
17 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM Honda 58.492 1.0629 20
18 20 Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy 58.501 1.0712 9
19 19 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Honda 58.623 1.1939 18
20 14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevy 58.659 1.2299 14
21 21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy 58.838 1.4087 15
22 23 Charlie Kimball Carlin Chevy 58.989 1.5602 21
23 7 Conor Daly Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 59.183 1.7535 22

The NTT IndyCar Series is back on track for their second practice session at 2:40 pm.

 

 

 

Championship leader Oliver Askew has set the early mark in his quest to capture the 2019 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship, with the best time in Friday morning practice. But with all eight cars within 0.6 of a second by the end of the 40-minute session, it’s still fairly close.

The eight cars competing in the second-to-last race weekend of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series took the green under cloudy skies just before 10 a.m. for their 40-minute practice session.

Even with the limited number of cars, Juncos Racing’s Rinus Van Kalmthout (VeeKay) was fairly busy in the opening minutes of the session passing several other cars.

Team principal Ricardo Juncos told the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network wasn’t thrilled VeeKay had to pass so many cars early on, but took the rest of the interview to hail his progress. The Dutch driver is re-acclimating back to the Dallara IL-15 at this circuit since his impressive first test earlier this month in an NTT IndyCar Series car with Ed Carpenter Racing.

Times were roughly a second off last year’s best FP1 time (1:03.9334) in the opening ten minutes with a pair of Andretti Autosport drivers, Oliver Askew and Ryan Norman, the first two to dip into the 1:04 bracket at the 1.964-mile circuit. But naturally the track was starting to rubber in with more Cooper rubber following the Indy Pro 2000 first practice that marked the first Road to Indy session of the day.

At the halfway point, Askew had 0.3402 of a second on both VeeKay and Robert Megennis, who matched their times down to the thousandth. Norman was fourth ahead of the two HMD Motorsports cars, Toby Sowery and David Malukas, with Dalton Kellett and Lucas Kohl next.

VeeKay got within a tenth of Askew with just over 12 minutes remaining, and then jumped ahead of him on his 19th lap of the session at 1:04.188. Askew retook the top spot at 1:04.116, just over seven-hundredths ahead of his title rival.

With many drivers opting to bolt on a fresh set of Cooper slicks, Malukas shot up to the top of the charts at 1:03.915. That put him ahead of the 2018 FP1 time here. All of Askew, Norman and VeeKay were just behind in the 1:04.1 bracket.

Askew ensured that Malukas’ time on top was short-lived. He got down to a 1:03.894 lap in his No. 28 Index Invest entry for Andretti Autosport.

The next Indy Lights session today is qualifying for race on, from 4:25 to 4:55 p.m. PDT and local time.

P No Name Team FTime Diff Laps
1 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:03.894 –.—- 25
2 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:03.915 0.0207 24
3 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:04.002 0.1086 26
4 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:04.171 0.2774 27
5 2 Toby Sowery HMD Motorsports/Team Pelfrey 1:04.199 0.3053 26
6 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:04.226 0.3320 25
7 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:04.396 0.5023 28
8 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:04.502 0.6078 28

 

Road To Indy at Portland – 9:50am – Sting Ray Robb leads first Indy Pro 2000 practice at home race

Juncos Racing veteran Sting Ray Robb began his ‘home race’ the right way, leading the lone test Indy Pro 2000 before qualifying.

Championship leader Rasmus Lindh had the fourth quickest time, almost a half-second behind his teammate. Lindh’s closest competitor for the championship, Kyle Kirkwood ended the session with the second-fastest lap.

The top six drivers were within a half-second, and the top seven were within one second.

The first open-wheel cars on track at the Portland International Raceway for the 2019 Grand Prix of Portland was the Indy Pro 2000

At the half-way point of the 25-minute session, Kyle Kirkwood had the quickest lap at 66.729 seconds. He was followed by Sting Ray Robb, Rasmus Lindh, Danial Frost, Parker Thompson, Artem Petrov, Nikita Lastochkin, Antonio Serravalle, Jacob Abel, Matthew Round-Garrido, Kory Enders, Antoine Comeau, and Moisés de la Vara.

At just past the half-way point of the session, Robb went to the top of the timing screens.

He held that position until the red and checkered flags came out with two minutes remaining. The red flag was caused by Exclusive Autosport veteran Lastochkin, who made contact in Turn 4.

Indy Pro 2000 first practice results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:06.464 –.—- 13
2 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 1:06.644 0.1804 16
3 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 1:06.859 0.3944 18
4 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 1:06.950 0.4863 14
5 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 1:07.021 0.5570 15
6 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 1:07.041 0.5770 15
7 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 1:07.255 0.7913 14
8 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:07.770 1.3059 14
9 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:07.852 1.3882 12
10 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:07.921 1.4566 14
11 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 1:07.967 1.5025 15
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 1:07.996 1.5318 11
13 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:08.405 1.9407 17

The middle rung of the Road To Indy was on track yesterday for three 45-minute test sessions. The baker’s dozen drivers turned a total of 631 laps and championship contender Kirkwood was the quickest driver. He was followed by Sting Ray Robb and championship leader Lindh.

Combined results of Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires test

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport 67.3527 52
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 67.4199 -0.0672 54
3 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 67.654 -0.3013 24
4 11 Antonio Serravalle RP Motorsport 67.7211 -0.3684 63
5 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 67.7459 -0.3932 46
6 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 67.9163 -0.5636 56
7 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 68.2597 -0.907 64
8 27 Matthew Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development 68.351 -0.9983 61
9 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport 68.3924 -1.0397 33
10 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 68.4935 -1.1408 47
11 6 Moisés de la Vara DEForce Racing 68.4964 -1.1437 63
12 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 68.5963 -1.2436 40
13 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 70.5829 -3.2302 28

The Indy Pro 2000 drivers are back on track for their first qualifying session of the weekend at 2:05 pm.