Laguna Seca IndyCar: Hunter-Reay tops second practice

David Malsher

All but two entries ran the softer red-sidewalled Firestone compounds to set their best times, but it was Hunter-Reay who clipped 0.02sec from Felix Rosenqvist’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda to edge to the top with a 69.9105sec lap of the 2.238-mile course.

Behind Rosenqvist, FP1 pacesetter Colton Herta put his Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda into third, while Simon Pagenaud was top Chevrolet runner in fourth, bouncing back from an off into the Turn 1 gravel, from which he extracted himself.

Less lucky was Scott Dixon in the second Ganassi car, who simultaneously spun off at Turn 10 and caused a red flag, the subsequent penalty costing him the last five minutes of the session.

Santino Ferrucci’s Dale Coyne Racing-Honda was fifth, just ahead of points leader Josef Newgarden in the second fastest Penske, while Will Power was seventh after a mild off at Turn 11 when attempting a second qualifying simulation.

Marcus Ericsson of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda, Charlie Kimball of Carlin-Chevrolet and Marco Andretti showed promise with ninth through 11th.

Max Chilton in the second Carlin car and title contender Alexander Rossi stayed on Firestone primaries for that session.

The second part of the session, the so-called warm-up and pitstop practice, saw two red flags caused by Ed Jones and Herta failing to negotiate the first left-hander of the exceedingly tight pitlane entrance and stalling.

By leaving his fresh set of reds until this second part of the session, Rossi was easily able to emerge on top with a time eight-tenths faster than his nearest opposition, teammate Hunter-Reay.

Several teams minimized their pitstop practice in order to try and maximize their time on red tires to check their duration. Power ran 18 laps and saw a two-second drop-off, while teammate Pagenaud also looked very strong across his albeit shorter red-tire stint.

Rossi shut his engine down as he exited the Corkscrew on his final lap, as he had run out of fuel. He admitted to the media later it was simply to save the fuel pumps, but the car was able to coast from Turn 8A down the hill, negotiate pitlane entry and still reach his pitbox, albeit at painfully slow pace by the end.

Sebastien Bourdais’ Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan car did not take part in this 'warm-up' session due to neck pains that prompted a visit to IndyCar medical.

Third practice starts at 10am local (Pacific) time.

Session results:

'Warm-up'/Pitstop practice

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 11 1'10.0988     114.935
2 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 14 1'10.8926 0.7938 0.7938 113.648
3 United States Colton Herta United States Harding Racing 11 1'10.8950 0.7962 0.0024 113.644
4 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 14 1'11.0371 0.9383 0.1421 113.417
5 United States Conor Daly United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'11.1182 1.0194 0.0811 113.287
6 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 18 1'11.6939 1.5951 0.5757 112.378
7 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 19 1'11.8590 1.7602 0.1651 112.120
8 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 18 1'11.8839 1.7851 0.0249 112.081
9 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'11.9168 1.8180 0.0329 112.029
10 Brazil Matheus Leist United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 18 1'12.1161 2.0173 0.1993 111.720
11 United States Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport 14 1'12.1296 2.0308 0.0135 111.699
12 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Ed Carpenter Racing 14 1'12.1402 2.0414 0.0106 111.683
13 United States Charlie Kimball United Kingdom Carlin 19 1'12.3297 2.2309 0.1895 111.390
14 United States Zach Veach United States Andretti Autosport 17 1'12.4342 2.3354 0.1045 111.229
15 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 19 1'12.5036 2.4048 0.0694 111.123
16 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 19 1'12.6557 2.5569 0.1521 110.890
17 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 14 1'12.6597 2.5609 0.0040 110.884
18 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 19 1'12.6807 2.5819 0.0210 110.852
19 United States Spencer Pigot United States Ed Carpenter Racing 14 1'12.7008 2.6020 0.0201 110.821
20 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 19 1'12.8349 2.7361 0.1341 110.617
21 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dale Coyne Racing 18 1'13.0335 2.9347 0.1986 110.316
22 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 16 1'13.3935 3.2947 0.360 109.775
23 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 1'13.4652 3.3664 0.0717 109.668
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