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Qualifying report

IndyCar Laguna Seca: Lundgaard fastest amid red flags in second practice

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard set the pace in the second practice session of the weekend for the IndyCar Series’ 2023 finale at Laguna Seca.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The 22-year-old Dane had a clean session in comparison to his rivals, going to the top with a flying lap at 1m07.6154s around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course.

Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing) ended up second, trailing by 0.0392 of a second. Newly crowned two-time IndyCar champion Alex Palou was the best Chip Ganassi Racing driver in third.

Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi was fourth, while Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood rounded out the top five.

Red flags became the theme once again in Saturday morning’s session.

The first stoppage came out after nine minutes when McLaren’s Pato O’Ward got out of shape entering Turn 3, skidding off course into the tyre barrier with minor damage to his car's left front corner.

“It's just a driver mistake, I think I touched a white line on the curb,” O’Ward said after his mount was towed back to the paddock. “It was just too much attack for what was available.”

Colton Herta put his Andretti Autosport Honda at the top moments before O’Ward’s shunt with a lap at 1m07.8880s. The session resumed after a 7m33s stoppage, with Rossi flexing the strength of his #7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and vaulting to first with a flying lap of 1m07.8522s.

A second red flag came after Will Power lost control of the backend of his Chevrolet-powered Team Penske entry entering the Corkscrew, drifting backward into the gravel before coming to a stop at top of the hill.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The session resumed after a five-minute break. The pace was briefly set by VeeKay before Lundgaard’s pace-setting lap.

With 13 minutes remaining, the #14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet of Santino Ferrucci erupted with a plume of smoke and stopped in Turn 11 to bring another red flag.

There were several further off-course adventures for many drivers, with Turn 10 proving to be the tricky spot for the likes of Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal, among others.

The #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda of Juri Vips was hit with a six-position starting grid penalty by IndyCar officials on Saturday morning following an unapproved engine change after yesterday’s practice.

IndyCar Laguna Seca FP2 Results:

 
 
     
Driver Info
 
 
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 18 1'07.6154   119.156
2 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 22 +0.0392 0.0392 119.087
3 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 25 +0.1839 0.1447 118.833
4 United States A. Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 18 +0.2368 0.0529 118.740
5 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 27 17 +0.2560 0.0192 118.707
6 United States C. Herta Andretti Autosport 26 22 +0.2726 0.0166 118.678
7 United States G. Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 24 +0.3979 0.1253 118.459
8 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 25 +0.4003 0.0024 118.455
9 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 26 +0.4097 0.0094 118.439
10 Sweden M. Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 8 23 +0.4433 0.0336 118.380
11 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 20 +0.4683 0.0250 118.337
12 Estonia J. Vips Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 19 +0.4895 0.0212 118.300
13 New Zealand M. Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 25 +0.5097 0.0202 118.265
14 France R. Grosjean Andretti Autosport 28 18 +0.5113 0.0016 118.262
15 United Kingdom C. Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 24 +0.5891 0.0778 118.127
16 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 6 25 +0.6354 0.0463 118.047
17 Canada D. DeFrancesco Andretti Autosport 29 21 +0.6548 0.0194 118.013
18 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 18 +0.6921 0.0373 117.949
19 United States D. Malukas Dale Coyne Racing 18 22 +0.6979 0.0058 117.939
20 United Kingdom T. Blomqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 22 +0.7502 0.0523 117.849
21 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 23 +0.8381 0.0879 117.697
22 United States R. Hunter-Reay Ed Carpenter Racing 20 22 +0.9049 0.0668 117.583
23 Brazil H. Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 06 23 +1.0216 0.1167 117.383
24 Denmark B. Pedersen A.J. Foyt Enterprises 55 24 +1.0502 0.0286 117.334
25
R. Robb Dale Coyne Racing
51 22 +1.1362 0.0860 117.187
26 Argentina A. Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 20 +1.4285 0.2923 116.691
27 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 6 +1.8658 0.4373 115.957

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