Barber IndyCar: Penske's Josef Newgarden leads Friday practice

Penske controlled practice for IndyCar's first road course race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park, with Josef Newgarden fastest of all in a chaotic day of running

Barber IndyCar: Penske's Josef Newgarden leads Friday practice

Newgarden's benchmark time came in the final minutes of the second session after the returning Rene Binder crashed his Juncos Racing-run car into the tyre wall at Turn 16.

The lengthy delay in recovering his car meant the field had just seven minutes to use track conditions that will closely mirror Saturday's qualifying session.

That led to a dash to the flag as a succession of drivers improved their times on the quicker red compound tyres.

Initially, it was the impressive Ed Carpenter Racing driver Spencer Pigot who led the way before Newgarden deposed him in the final minutes.

He then improved his time again to finish the day with the fastest laptime of 1m07.4345s.

That late improvement came after a series of set-up tweaks midway through the session that typified the learning process with the new universal aerokit at Barber.

Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastien Bourdais was third thanks to a last-minute lap, having been fortunate to still be on track after almost hitting the wall at Turn 5 earlier in the day.

But there was no such luck for Penske's Simon Pagenaud or Andretti's Zach Veach, with the pair both skating across the gravel and causing red flags before the midway point of the second practice.

Newgarden had also had a similar off in the first session but, with drivers on qualifying simulations, the attrition was much higher in the afternoon.

He recovered from that off to go second behind his team-mate Will Power in the first practice as Penske and Chevrolet asserted control.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was the most impressive Honda-powered runner, finishing third and fourth in the two practices.

Carlin made what it considered a breakthrough after a top 10 finish at the last race in Long Beach, and Max Chilton continued that form at Barber with fourth in the morning before slipping to 11th later on.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports again struggled at Barber, having endured a woeful pre-season test at the venue.

Robert Wickens was only 13th in the first session, five places ahead of team-mate James Hinchcliffe, and then missed most of the afternoon with concerns over water pressure.

Championship leader Alexander Rossi spun off at the long high-speed Turn 15 and caused a red flag in the morning before recovering to fifth in the afternoon.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.5987s - 12
2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.9141s 0.3154s 11
3 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.2627s 0.6640s 13
4 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.2882s 0.6895s 17
5 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.3086s 0.7099s 16
6 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.3122s 0.7135s 13
7 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.3661s 0.7674s 19
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m08.3964s 0.7977s 16
9 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.4131s 0.8144s 11
10 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m08.4216s 0.8229s 17
11 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m08.4757s 0.8770s 15
12 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.5216s 0.9229s 16
13 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m08.5495s 0.9508s 14
14 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m08.7316s 1.1329s 15
15 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m08.7758s 1.1771s 11
16 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.9642s 1.3655s 13
17 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m09.0682s 1.4695s 11
18 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m09.0896s 1.4909s 11
19 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.1182s 1.5195s 17
20 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m09.2393s 1.6406s 10
21 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.2883s 1.6896s 13
22 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.6762s 2.0775s 15
23 Rene Binder Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.9615s 2.3628s 19

FP2 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.4345s - 17
2 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.5372s 0.1027s 20
3 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m07.7971s 0.3626s 22
4 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m07.8092s 0.3747s 18
5 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.8326s 0.3981s 22
6 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m07.8445s 0.4100s 18
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m07.8829s 0.4484s 19
8 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m08.0628s 0.6283s 24
9 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m08.1040s 0.6695s 8
10 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m08.1076s 0.6731s 22
11 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.3530s 0.9185s 18
12 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.3616s 0.9271s 18
13 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.3698s 0.9353s 8
14 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m08.4867s 1.0522s 21
15 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m08.4978s 1.0633s 21
16 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m08.5755s 1.1410s 5
17 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.7275s 1.2930s 23
18 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m08.7317s 1.2972s 21
19 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.7466s 1.3121s 30
20 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m08.9427s 1.5082s 23
21 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.2392s 1.8047s 23
22 Rene Binder Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.3583s 1.9238s 18
23 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.4198s 1.9853s 20


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Teams Team Penske
Author Tom Errington
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