O’Ward tops 10-car IndyCar test at Portland

Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet’s challenger for the IndyCar title Pato O’Ward topped the times at Portland International Raceway ahead of two of his championship rivals.

O’Ward tops 10-car IndyCar test at Portland

O’Ward is currently 39 points behind Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Alex Palou and 17 ahead of CGR’s six-time champion Scott Dixon, shaded both them in today’s test.

The 21-year-old Mexican lapped the 1.967-mile course in 59.360sec on his 39th of 57 laps, 0.102sec ahead of Dixon who was in turn just a couple of hundredths up on Palou.

Meyer Shank Racing-Honda driver Jack Harvey, who qualified fourth the last time IndyCar competed at Portland in 2019, was just 0.15sec behind O’Ward with his 39th of 41 laps.

The second Arrow McLaren SP car of Felix Rosenqvist was fifth, 0.234sec from top spot and just a couple of hundredths ahead of Swedish compatriot Marcus Ericsson in the third Ganassi machine.

Reigning and four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who was recently confirmed as a full-timer at MSR for 2022, was 0.261sec from the top and only 0.11sec from Harvey who will be departing the squad at season’s end. Castroneves will run in all five of the season’s remaining road and street course races this year.

Jimmie Johnson did a fine job to finish up just a second from the top of the charts in the fourth CGR-Honda.

Busiest driver of the day was his teammate Dixon, who turned 73 laps.

The Grand Prix of Portland is set for Sept. 10-12.

Meanwhile, Top Gun Racing-Chevrolet was back in action at Sebring, as the team prepares for its first attempt to qualify for an IndyCar race since the Indy 500, this time for the year’s second race on the IMS road course.

Trackside Online reported that RC Enerson completed “over 100 trouble-free laps. The temperatures were hot, the track was green, but Enerson could still turn lap times similar to drivers during the busier tests with cooler temperatures.”

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