Road America IndyCar: Grosjean leads practice, Askew stars
Romain Grosjean topped opening practice for IndyCar’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, but no less impressive was Oliver Askew delivering P9 as he subs for the injured Rinus VeeKay.
Grosjean’s Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda lapped the 4.014-mile course in 1min47.6781sec, an average speed of 134.200mph, eclipsing the best efforts of second fastest Ryan Hunter-Reay by 0.1243sec.
Top Penske honors went to Josef Newgarden in third who was a mere 0.04sec slower than Hunter-Reay, and only a hundredth ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s best effort, a 1min47.8515 from Alex Palou, who scored his first ever IndyCar podium here last year with Dale Coyne Racing.
Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda and Colton Herta in a second Andretti entry were within half a second of top spot but Herta, along with Penske’s Will Power (10th fastest) survived off-track excursions at the end of one of their earlier flying laps.
Sebastien Bourdais, a former winner here, was seventh fastest for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet, ahead of Penske’s rookie, Scott McLaughlin.
But it was 2019 Indy Lights champion Askew who stole the show with eighth fastest. Last week he made his season debut subbing for Felix Rosenqvist at Arrow McLaren SP, his old team, yet this week was called on to fill in for the injured Rinus VeeKay at Ed Carpenter Racing. Remarkably, despite not being granted the extra set of tires that all rookies get in the opening practice session , Askew was just 0.6sec off top spot.
Askew also starred off-track - albeit unintentionally - with this inadvertent reminder of how he got his ride this weekend:
Behind Power was the season’s only two-time winner, Pato O’Ward, while the two series debutants this weekend – Cody Ware in the second Coyne-RWR entry and Kevin Magnussen in the Arrow McLaren SP – finished up 22nd and 23rd respectively.
Ed Jones was unable to take part in practice because of a small fire in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan-Honda.
Tomorrow’s second practice begins at 10.10am local (Central) time, with qualifying following at 1.30pm and final practice at 4.30pm.
||Dale Coyne Racing with RWR||1'47.678|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||1'47.851||0.173|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1'48.093||0.415|
||Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian||1'48.140||0.462|
||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||1'48.248||0.570|
||Ed Carpenter Racing||1'48.300||0.621|
||Arrow McLaren SP||1'48.425||0.747|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||1'48.441||0.763|
||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1'48.456||0.778|
||Ed Carpenter Racing||1'48.662||0.984|
||Meyer Shank Racing||1'48.669||0.990|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||1'49.024||1.346|
||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||1'49.535||1.857|
||Chip Ganassi Racing||1'50.076||2.398|
||Dale Coyne Racing with RWR||1'50.298||2.620|
||Arrow McLaren SP||1'50.492||2.814|
||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||1'50.494||2.816|
||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan|
|View full results|
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