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Practice report

IndyCar Long Beach: O’Ward’s McLaren fastest from Dixon in FP1

Pato O’Ward's Chevrolet-powered Arrow McLaren set the fastest time in opening IndyCar practice at Long Beach on Friday, lapping 0.265s clear of Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The Andretti Autosport cars set the early pace, with Romain Grosjean and then Colton Herta taking turns at the top, before Ganassi's 2021 champion Alex Palou deposed Herta to claim top spot with 1m07.2416s.

Then Marcus Ericsson demoted team-mate Palou from P1 with a 1m07.2233s, while 2022 Long Beach winner Josef Newgarden slotted into fifth. Not long after, however, the two-time champion smacked his Penske broadside against the wall exiting Turn 5, damaging both left-side wheels and even the edge of the floor.

Graham Rahal also had a spin at Turn 5 but touched the wall only with his rear wing endfence and returned to action.

Just past the halfway point in the session, Chevrolet’s representation suddenly looked stronger, as Scott McLaughlin moved his Penske entry into fourth, just ahead of O’Ward. Then out came the red flag, as Helio Castroneves stalled his Meyer Shank Racing car when he failed to find reverse gear after sliding to a halt at the exit of the final hairpin. At the same time, Agustin Canapino slid down the Turn 9 escape road and also needed rescuing.

O’Ward went up the Turn 9 escape road with 18 minutes to go, after locking his right front wheel over the bumps while Newgarden, with a taped up floor, returned to the track and jumped into sixth.

Grosjean slotted into top spot with 10 minutes remaining, the St. Petersburg polesitter logging a 1m07.104s to jump Ericsson by 0.118s.

Herta also clambered past Ericsson before then claiming top spot, chipping 0.124s from Grosjean’s former benchmark. 

Ericsson got within 0.005s of Herta before O’Ward's sparkling 1m06.6999 put him 0.28s faster than Herta.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Saving his best to last, Dixon grabbed second but was still 0.265s off O’Ward. After Herta and Ericsson,   Alexander Rossi made it two Arrow McLarens in the top five.

He was followed by Grosjean, Palou and the impressive Callum Ilott (Juncos Holinger), as the third McLaren of Felix Rosenqvist and leading RLL driver Christian Lundgaard completed the top 10.

Second practice is at 8.45am local (Pacific) time on Saturday.

IndyCar Long Beach FP1 Results

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 1'06.6999  
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'06.9649 0.2650
3 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 1'06.9808 0.2809
4 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'06.9859 0.2860
5 United States Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 1'07.0104 0.3105
6 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.1049 0.4050
7 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'07.1515 0.4516
8 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 1'07.2467 0.5468
9 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 1'07.3135 0.6136
10 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.3237 0.6238
11 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.3355 0.6356
12 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.3864 0.6865
13 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 1'07.3973 0.6974
14 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'07.4273 0.7274
15 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'07.4420 0.7421
16 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'07.4785 0.7786
17 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'07.5242 0.8243
18 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'07.5308 0.8309
19 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'07.5392 0.8393
20 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'07.5978 0.8979
21 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 1'07.6755 0.9756
22 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'07.7257 1.0258
23 Argentina Agustin Canapino United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 1'07.8087 1.1088
24 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'07.9204 1.2205
25 Ray Robb United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'08.2600 1.5601
26 United States Santino Ferrucci United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'08.9570 2.2571
27 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'09.0446 2.3447

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