COTA IndyCar: Newgarden leads interrupted first practice

Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Josef Newgarden topped opening practice for the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of The Americas, but Colton Herta’s Harding Steinbrenner Racing blew a Honda engine that cost the field 15 minutes of track time.

COTA IndyCar: Newgarden leads interrupted first practice

The drivers were granted one last flying lap once Herta’s car was retrieved but only five drivers managed to improve in the final scramble, leaving St. Petersburg winner Newgarden unopposed with a top lap of 1min48.657sec, 112.980mph.

Herta, who topped three of the four sessions here in testing last month, was second fastest, just 0.1372sec behind Newgarden but only completed five laps.

His semi-teammate Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was third fastest ahead of teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, while Graham Rahal was fifth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.

Rookie Felix Rosenqvist and five-time champion Scott Dixon were sixth and ninth for Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, split by the other two Penskes of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda’s James Hinchcliffe was one of the five drivers to improve on their final flyer to end up a couple of tenths behind rookie teammate Marcus Ericsson.

Making his first appearance at an IndyCar race this year, Indy Lights champion Pato O’Ward was another late improver, his renumbered #31 Carlin-Chevrolet finishing up around half a second slower than fulltime teammate Max Chilton.

Second practice, when the teams will try the ‘red’ alternate soft-compound Firestones for the first time, begins at 2.05pm local (Central) time.

Practice times:

Pos # Driver Team Time Gap
1 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'48.6567  
2 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 1'48.7939 0.1372
3 27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'49.0456 0.3889
4 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'49.5011 0.8444
5 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'49.5076 0.8509
6 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'49.6846 1.0279
7 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'49.7204 1.0637
8 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'49.7380 1.0813
9 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'49.8542 1.1975
10 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 1'50.0187 1.3620
11 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'50.0667 1.4100
12 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1'50.2005 1.5438
13 4 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'50.2346 1.5779
14 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'50.3046 1.6479
15 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'50.3986 1.7419
16 31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United Kingdom Carlin 1'50.4896 1.8329
17 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 1'50.5477 1.8910
18 26 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 1'50.9096 2.2529
19 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'51.0908 2.4341
20 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'51.3202 2.6635
21 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 1'51.5130 2.8563
22 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'51.7326 3.0759
23 32 United States Kyle Kaiser United States Juncos Racing 1'51.7955 3.1388
24 20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'52.6301 3.9734
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Series IndyCar
Event Austin
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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