IndyCar Road America: Herta takes last-gasp pole for Andretti
Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta will start from pole position for the IndyCar Series race at Road America after a dramatic qualifying session that was only decided in the closing seconds.
On the recently-repaved 4.048-mile road course, Dario Franchitti’s qualifying track record of 1m39.866s remained out of reach despite the new high-grip surface. The Fast Six shootout was an intriguing battle, with most cars running the harder primary tyres but Arrow McLaren’s practice pacesetter Alexander Rossi gambled on the softer alternates.
O’Ward set the early pace with 1m41.9957s on primaries, which Rossi beat with 1m41.4587s on his alternates.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou then jumped to P1 on primaries at 1m40.7065s, ahead of Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Herta on the same compound. O’Ward grabbed provisional pole with 1m40.3643s, despite a scruffy end to his lap, but Herta beat that with 1m40.1945s to ensure the top spot for Sunday’s race.
Palou will start third in his hastily-rebuilt car after a hefty practice crash this morning, ahead of Newgarden, who spun at Turn 3 on his final lap.
Rossi was fifth, almost a second off the pace, ahead of Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood – who didn’t take part in the final session after his car expired earlier.
|1||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||4||1'40.1945||144.223|
|2||Patricio O'Ward||Arrow McLaren||4||1'40.3643||0.1698||0.1698||143.979|
|3||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||4||1'40.4930||0.2985||0.1287||143.795|
|4||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||5||1'40.9530||0.7585||0.4600||143.140|
|5||Alexander Rossi||Arrow McLaren||5||1'41.1854||0.9909||0.2324||142.811|
|6||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||0|
|View full results|
Fast 12 qualifying
In the second round of qualifying, Christian Lundgaard(Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) set the pace early on with 1m41.0480s on primaries, three-tenths up on Rossi, but Palou beat him with 1m40.9914s.
Times tumbled in the closing moments, with Palou taking P1 on primaries with 1m40.5572s, before Herta – who had earlier suffered a huge high-speed spin at Turn 1 on primaries – produced a last-gasp 1m40.5476s on alternates.
Kirkwood was third on primaries – before pulling off with a smoking engine – ahead of alternate runners O’Ward, Newgarden and Rossi.
Lundgaard will start seventh, after failing to improve on alternates, ahead of Ganassi’s Marcus Armstrong and Ericsson, AJ Foyt Racing duo Benjamin Pedersen and Santino Ferrucci, and Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti).
|1||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||6||1'40.5476||143.717|
|2||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||6||1'40.5572||0.0096||0.0096||143.703|
|3||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||6||1'40.9322||0.3846||0.3750||143.169|
|4||Patricio O'Ward||Arrow McLaren||6||1'40.9393||0.3917||0.0071||143.159|
|5||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||7||1'40.9716||0.4240||0.0323||143.114|
|6||Alexander Rossi||Arrow McLaren||6||1'40.9948||0.4472||0.0232||143.081|
|7||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||6||1'41.0480||0.5004||0.0532||143.005|
|8||Marcus Armstrong||Chip Ganassi Racing||7||1'41.1737||0.6261||0.1257||142.828|
|9||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||6||1'41.2202||0.6726||0.0465||142.762|
|10||Benjamin Pedersen||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||6||1'41.4989||0.9513||0.2787||142.370|
|11||Santino Ferrucci||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||6||1'41.6314||1.0838||0.1325||142.184|
|12||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Autosport||5||1'41.8277||1.2801||0.1963||141.910|
|View full results|
Group stage qualifying
In Group 1, Herta set 1m40.7555s on primaries and then beat that with 1m40.5881s on alternates. Pedersen was second fastest, ahead of DeFrancesco, Newgarden, Kirkwood and Ferrucci.
David Malukas, who’d been rapid in practice for Dale Coyne Racing, just missed out on progression by 0.0481s. He will start 13th, and outpaced Rinus VeeKay(Ed Carpenter Racing), Callum Ilott(Juncos Hollinger Racing), Romain Grosjean – who went off twice in his Andretti Autosport car, including a big flight over the curb on the exit of Turn 1, and declared “the car is broken” – Agustin Canapino (JHR), Scott Dixon (CGR) and Sting Ray Robb (DCR).
Ganassi built up a new chassis for Dixon, after his tub was found to be dented following the bizarre collision with Team Penske’s Will Power in practice this morning, but he struggled for pace and spun off at Turn 3. “The brake bias was at a really odd number, steering was off, it was just a bit of a mismatch,” he rued.
|1||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||6||1'40.5881||143.659|
|2||Benjamin Pedersen||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||6||1'41.2255||0.6374||0.6374||142.755|
|3||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Autosport||6||1'41.2443||0.6562||0.0188||142.728|
|4||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||7||1'41.3132||0.7251||0.0689||142.631|
|5||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||5||1'41.4400||0.8519||0.1268||142.453|
|6||Santino Ferrucci||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||6||1'41.4723||0.8842||0.0323||142.407|
|7||David Malukas||Dale Coyne Racing||7||1'41.5204||0.9323||0.0481||142.340|
|8||Rinus van Kalmthout||Ed Carpenter Racing||6||1'41.7420||1.1539||0.2216||142.030|
|9||Callum Ilott||Juncos Hollinger Racing||6||1'41.8005||1.2124||0.0585||141.948|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Andretti Autosport||7||1'41.8529||1.2648||0.0524||141.875|
|11||Agustin Canapino||Juncos Hollinger Racing||6||1'41.9247||1.3366||0.0718||141.775|
|12||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||7||1'42.2745||1.6864||0.3498||141.290|
|13||Ray Robb||Dale Coyne Racing||6||1'42.6862||2.0981||0.4117||140.724|
|View full results|
In Group 2, Lundgaard set the pace on primaries at 1m41.0125s, as practice pacesetter Rossi – who was second fastest after the first runs – got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane. O’Ward set 1m40.9158s to top the session just before Ryan Hunter-Reay slammed the wall at the final corner, bringing out a red flag with 11s remaining.
The session resumed for a lap but nobody could improve their times, so Lundgaard was second quickest, ahead of Armstrong, a fortunate Rossi, Ericsson and Palou.
Missing out were Graham Rahal (RLL), Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren), Scott McLaughlin (Penske), Simon Pagenaud(Meyer Shank Racing), a livid Will Power (Penske) – who had a huge moment on the exit of the Carousel in his rebuilt car and is still angry with Dixon – Jack Harvey (RLL), Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves (MSR).
|1||Patricio O'Ward||Arrow McLaren||6||1'40.9158||143.193|
|2||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||7||1'41.0125||0.0967||0.0967||143.056|
|3||Marcus Armstrong||Chip Ganassi Racing||8||1'41.0682||0.1524||0.0557||142.977|
|4||Alexander Rossi||Arrow McLaren||7||1'41.1788||0.2630||0.1106||142.820|
|5||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||8||1'41.2830||0.3672||0.1042||142.673|
|6||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||8||1'41.2868||0.3710||0.0038||142.668|
|7||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||8||1'41.5121||0.5963||0.2253||142.352|
|8||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren||8||1'41.5823||0.6665||0.0702||142.253|
|9||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||7||1'41.7005||0.7847||0.1182||142.088|
|10||Simon Pagenaud||Meyer Shank Racing||8||1'41.7257||0.8099||0.0252||142.053|
|11||Will Power||Team Penske||7||1'41.9275||1.0117||0.2018||141.771|
|12||Jack Harvey||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||7||1'41.9329||1.0171||0.0054||141.764|
|13||Helio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||7||1'42.0399||1.1241||0.1070||141.615|
|14||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Ed Carpenter Racing||5||1'44.1738||3.2580||2.1339||138.714|
|View full results|
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