Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Practice report
IndyCar Laguna Seca

IndyCar Laguna Seca: Herta tops crash-filled opening practice

Colton Herta led an opening IndyCar Series practice that was punctuated by multiple red flags at Laguna Seca.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

The 23-year-old Californian set the tone early with a flying lap of 1m07.5382s around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile natural terrain road course.

His fastest time was achieved on a set of the harder primary tyre compound.

Behind the Andretti Autosport pacesetter and two-time Laguna Seca race winner was Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, who trailed by 0.0529s, and was ahead of team-mate Alexander Rossi in third. O’Ward logged 33 laps, the most in the session.

Marcus Ericsson’s final race weekend with Chip Ganassi Racing saw him fourth on the leaderboard, 0.2531s off the top spot. Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood finished up fifth.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was represented in sixth and seventh, led by rookie Juri Vips ahead of team-mate Graham Rahal. Juncos Hollinger Racing was represented in the top 10 with Callum Ilott in eighth.

Six-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon came away ninth, with Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay rounding out the rest of the top 10.

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda, Marcus Armstrong, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda, Marcus Armstrong, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Although the opening 30 minutes were uninterrupted, the rest of the 1h15m practice was plagued by stoppages with no less than five red flags.

It began with Romain Grosjean backing his Andretti Autosport machine into the tyre barrier in Turn 4. The damage was significant as he was forced to climb out as his Honda was towed back to the paddock.

After a red flag that lasted just over 10 minutes, it took just another 180 seconds before Vips received an urgent radio message to stop the car due to an apparent engine issue. The Estonian stopped on the Rahal straight and was assisted by the safety crew, which towed him to the top of the Corkscrew, allowing him to coast back to pit lane on the downhill run in neutral.

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin brought out another stoppage following the next restart, losing the rear entering Turn 1 and ending up stuck in the gravel.

Another restart came and went briefly when Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Agustin Canapino’s off course excursion that left him stalled in Turn 6.

The theme continued with Will Power, who led testing on Thursday, closing out practice with a fifth red flag after heavy contact with the barrier in Turn 4 and he stopped on course in Turn 5. The Aussie ended 13th on the timesheets. “I damaged the floor, man,” called Power over the radio.

Ahead of practice, IndyCar Officials slapped Canapino with a six-position starting grid penalty for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Monterey due to an unapproved engine change following the last round at Portland International Raceway.

Cla Driver  Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Laps 
26 Colton Herta Dallara/Honda 1'07.5382   15
5 Patricio O'Ward Dallara/Chevrolet 1'07.5911 0.0529 33
7 Alexander Rossi Dallara/Chevrolet 1'07.6336 0.0954 28
8 Marcus Ericsson Dallara/Honda 1'07.7913 0.2531 18
27 Kyle Kirkwood Dallara/Honda 1'07.8502 0.3120 20
30 Jüri Vips Dallara/Honda 1'07.9175 0.3793 23
15 Graham Rahal Dallara/Honda 1'07.9515 0.4133 26
77 Callum Ilott Dallara/Chevrolet 1'07.9552 0.4170 25
9 Scott Dixon Dallara/Honda 1'07.9676 0.4294 16
10  21 R.van Kalmthout Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.0553 0.5171 22
11  60 Tom Blomqvist Dallara/Honda 1'08.0666 0.5284 26
12  10 Alex Palou Dallara/Honda 1'08.0687 0.5305 16
13  12 Will Power Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.1056 0.5674 19
14  20 Ryan Hunter-Reay Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.1431 0.6049 22
15  18 David Malukas Dallara/Honda 1'08.1797 0.6415 26
16  3 Scott McLaughlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.1919 0.6537 16
17  14 Santino Ferrucci Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.2098 0.6716 21
18  28 Romain Grosjean Dallara/Honda 1'08.2391 0.7009 13
19  6 Felix Rosenqvist Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.2470 0.7088 25
20  2 Josef Newgarden Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.3103 0.7721 23
21  11 Marcus Armstrong Dallara/Honda 1'08.3180 0.7798 21
22  55 B.Pedersen Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.3607 0.8225 29
23  29 D.Defrancesco Dallara/Honda 1'08.4537 0.9155 24
24  06 H.Castroneves Dallara/Honda 1'08.5527 1.0145 22
25  45 C.Lundgaard Dallara/Honda 1'08.5958 1.0576 27
26  78 Agustín Canapino Dallara/Chevrolet 1'08.7977 1.2595 19
27  51 Sting Ray Robb Dallara/Honda 1'09.0907 1.5525 21

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Malukas completes Arrow McLaren IndyCar 2024 driver line-up
Next article Rahal closing on new IndyCar deal with RLL

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe