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.

Practice results:

Cla # Driver Team Time Gap
1 51 France Romain Grosjean
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'47.678
2 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 1'47.802 0.124
3 2 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 1'47.841 0.163
4 10 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'47.851 0.173
5 15 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'48.093 0.415
6 26 United States Colton Herta
Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 1'48.140 0.462
7 14 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'48.248 0.570
8 3 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 1'48.284 0.606
9 21 United States Oliver Askew
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'48.300 0.621
10 12 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 1'48.343 0.665
11 5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Arrow McLaren SP 1'48.425 0.747
12 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'48.441 0.763
13 30 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'48.456 0.778
14 20 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'48.662 0.984
15 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'48.669 0.990
16 27 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 1'48.737 1.059
17 22 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 1'48.983 1.305
18 8 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'49.024 1.346
19 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton
United Kingdom Carlin 1'49.367 1.689
20 29 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1'49.535 1.857
21 48 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'50.076 2.398
22 52 United States Cody Ware
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'50.298 2.620
23 7 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Arrow McLaren SP 1'50.492 2.814
24 4 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'50.494 2.816
25 18 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan
 

 

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