Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou leads second practice
Alex Palou set the pace in second practice for IndyCar's finale, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, ahead of the outgoing champion’s final attempt to score a win in 2022.
Colton Herta had worked down to a 72.9450sec in his Andretti Herta Autosport-Honda, when Graham Rahal spun his Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda exiting the top of the Corkscrew and stalled, causing a red flag.
Juncos Hollinger Racing’s rookie Callum Ilott delivered a 72.34, then a 71.9899sec to go top ahead of fellow rookies David Malukas and Christian Lundgaard. As in Portland, Ilott was shining at a track where he gained experience last year, and he was over three-tenths of a second clear of his nearest rival at the time.
The first of the Team Penske-Chevrolet drivers to set a representative lap was Scott McLaughlin, who set a 72.6457 on his first flyer.
On the exit of Turn 9, Pato O’Ward got slightly sideways in his Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet, but then got irredeemably sideways approaching Turn 10 and skated backward over the gravel and required rescuing.
The session resumed with 24mins remaining, and Romain Grosjean moved his Andretti Autosport-Honda up to second, halving Ilott’s advantage, but the changes weren’t coming quickly as drivers were doing long runs. Scott McLaughlin did a 10-lap run on his primaries and saw only one-second fall-off from first lap to last, but that low degradation was aided by the cool temperatures – 68degF ambient and 82degF track temp.
With 13mins to go, Alexander Rossi shaded Ilott’s time by a mere 0.0086sec, and then out came several drivers on fresh rubber and the order started shuffling. Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, who topped a test here two weeks ago, claimed top spot with a 71.6510sec effort – three-tenths quicker than Rossi. While Rossi then improved, so too did Palou, getting down to 71.3847s, a 112.865mph average.
Colton Herta moved up to third, 0.15sec behind teammate Rossi and now ahead of rookie Rookie of the Year contender Christian Lundgaard of RLL and Simon Pagenaud’s Meyer Shank Racing-Honda.
On a set of fresh primaries, Scott Dixon moved into sixth, but 0.5866sec off pace-setting teammate Palou, then trimmed that deficit to 0.5345 and moved up to fourth.
However, with their final efforts Team Penske-Chevrolet’s title battlers Will Power and Josef Newgarden moved up to third and fourth.
Paretta Autosport-Chevrolet’s Simona De Silvestro was 25th but only 0.5sec and 0.8sec off her teammates at Ed Carpenter Racing, Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay respectively.
||Chip Ganassi Racing||23||1'11.3847||112.865|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||17||1'11.9192||0.5345||112.026|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||22||1'11.9463||0.5616||111.984|
||Meyer Shank Racing||16||1'11.9514||0.5667||111.976|
||Juncos Hollinger Racing||18||1'11.9899||0.6052||111.916|
||Dale Coyne Racing||21||1'12.1029||0.7182||111.740|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||19||1'12.3024||0.9177||111.432|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||18||1'12.3532||0.9685||111.354|
||Meyer Shank Racing||20||1'12.4744||1.0897||111.168|
||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||23||1'12.5186||1.1339||111.100|
Rinus van Kalmthout
||Ed Carpenter Racing||19||1'12.6215||1.2368||110.942|
||Arrow McLaren SP||17||1'12.6659||1.2812||110.875|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||15||1'12.7757||1.3910||110.707|
||Dale Coyne Racing||22||1'12.8304||1.4457||110.624|
||Ed Carpenter Racing||17||1'12.8597||1.4750||110.580|
||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||29||1'12.9890||1.6043||110.384|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||21||1'13.2065||1.8218||110.056|
Simona de Silvestro
||Arrow McLaren SP||9||1'13.7735||2.3888||109.210|
|View full results|
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