Barber IndyCar: Hinchcliffe tops another disrupted session

James Hinchcliffe led third practice at Barber Motorsports Park with a superb lap that eclipsed his nearest rival by three tenths of a second, but there were three more red flags.

Barber IndyCar: Hinchcliffe tops another disrupted session

A red flag with less than four minutes to go, caused by an off and stall for Graham Rahal at Turn 5, meant everyone was granted one flying lap at the end of the session, and it was Hinchcliffe who produced the startling time that sent him top.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda driver lapped the 2.3-mile course in 68.735sec, beating Sebastien Bourdais by precisely 0.3sec.

If one side of the Arrow SPM team was happy, the other was not as the second red flag was caused by Hinchcliffe’s teammate Marcus Ericsson. Ryan Hunter-Reay had just had an off-course moment at Turn 2, reporting there might be something on the track on the exit of Turn 1, when Marcus Ericsson understeered off the track at the same spot and struck the guardrail hard enough to tear his left-front wheel loose and wedge his front wing in the barrier.

The first red was caused by Zach Veach who spun off at Turn 5 10 minutes into the session, collecting a lot of gravel that saw the team take the #26 Andretti Autosport-Honda back to the paddock for a clear-out.

Behind Bourdais, Scott Dixon nailed a good lap to grab third for Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda despite an oversteer moment under braking for T5, while Colton Herta put Harding Steinbrenner Racing car into fourth.

Takuma Sato survived another off in the second Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda to claim fifth, with Spencer Pigot claiming top Chevrolet honors in sixth.

Simon Pagenaud was fastest Team Penske driver in seventh, while Will Power had two offs in one lap, one at Turn 5 and the other at T14. He would finish the session in 15th.

Felix Rosenqvist was eighth in the second Ganassi machine, while Max Chilton was ninth for Carlin-Chevrolet, two spots ahead of rookie teammate Patricio O’Ward, the pair split by Alexander Rossi.

The Firestone situation that caused yesterday’s red alternate tires to be slower than the blacks was clarified today. The batch of reds that had been brought to last year’s race and weren’t used (due to everyone needing to run wets) had lost some of their grip and were the reds utilized in yesterday’s FP2 session.

It means that the teams head into qualifying today without having run the newest reds, although they are built to the same specification as last year’s Barber batch.

Session results

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 12 1'08.7351     120.462
2 18 France Sébastien Bourdais United States Dale Coyne Racing 12 1'09.0351 0.3000 0.3000 119.939
3 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 10 1'09.2334 0.4983 0.1983 119.595
4 88 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 14 1'09.2444 0.5093 0.0110 119.576
5 30 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'09.2692 0.5341 0.0248 119.534
6 21 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 12 1'09.2784 0.5433 0.0092 119.518
7 22 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 16 1'09.2837 0.5486 0.0053 119.509
8 10 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 14 1'09.2884 0.5533 0.0047 119.501
9 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 15 1'09.3113 0.5762 0.0229 119.461
10 27 United States Alexander Rossi  United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'09.3481 0.6130 0.0368 119.398
11 31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United Kingdom Carlin 13 1'09.4272 0.6921 0.0791 119.262
12 20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Ed Carpenter Racing 12 1'09.4540 0.7189 0.0268 119.216
13 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 9 1'09.4794 0.7443 0.0254 119.172
14 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 14 1'09.5282 0.7931 0.0488 119.088
15 12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 14 1'09.5959 0.8608 0.0677 118.973
16 4 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 13 1'09.6287 0.8936 0.0328 118.916
17 2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 13 1'09.7409 1.0058 0.1122 118.725
18 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 12 1'09.8630 1.1279 0.1221 118.518
19 15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 13 1'09.9723 1.2372 0.1093 118.333
20 98 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 10 1'10.0384 1.3033 0.0661 118.221
21 7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 7 1'10.1552 1.4201 0.1168 118.024
22 19 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 11 1'10.5587 1.8236 0.4035 117.349
23 81 United Kingdom Ben Hanley DragonSpeed 15 1'10.9123 2.1772 0.3536 116.764
24 26 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 2 1'11.0864 2.3513 0.1741 116.478
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