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IndyCar Road America: Palou shunts, Dixon and Power clash physically in FP2

Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi set the fastest time in the second IndyCar practice session at Road America on Saturday morning, but two major crashes involving series frontrunners overshadowed it.

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Rossi topped the 45-minute session around the fabled 4.048-mile road course with a best lap of 1m41.9112s.

While the track is much faster on the racing line, thanks to the track’s first full repave since 1995 that took place last October and November, there’s a huge grip disparity off-line which has been catching out the unwary if they run wide.

The session was red-flagged after just seven minutes when championship leader Alex Palou flew off the track backwards at the final corner and slammed hard into the tyre barrier as he spun, severely damaging the right side of his car. The Spaniard had just set the fastest time of the session at that point at 1m42.1368s, but his Chip Ganassi Racing team have less than two hours to repair it before qualifying.

“I was just trying to push to see where the limit was,” Palou said. “I didn’t wanna crash, obviously, hopefully, we have enough time [to fix it] as the guys are going to have to work a lot now. It’s not ideal, we lose a new tyre run, but the car is fast.”

Upon the resumption there was an even more shocking incident, as Ganassi’s other star Scott Dixon – who had just spun on the exit of Canada Corner and let Romain Grosjean pass before getting back up to speed – suddenly swerved into the path of Team Penske’s Will Power, who was on a hot lap.

The pair collided, smashing the left-front wheel from Dixon’s car before they both slammed into the concrete wall. Power, whose car suffered huge damage to three corners, immediately radioed: “What the ****? What the ****?”

Power then got out of his car, removed his helmet and shoved an apologetic Dixon in the shoulder as he remonstrated with his fellow Antipodean. The pair then discussed the incident in the medical car on the way back to the infield care centre, where they were given a clean bill of health.

Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

A third red flag was required when Santino Ferrucci spun and stalled his AJ Foyt Racing car at Canada Corner, just after a third Ganassi driver, Marcus Ericsson, went off at the final corner and just missed the barrier. Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta earlier suffered a wild spin at Turn 7, during which he clipped an advertising sign but was able to return to the pits.

Alex Zanardi’s all-time fastest race lap of 1m41.874s was dipped under at the halfway point, with Arrow McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist going to the top of the times with a 1m41.2572s on primary tyres.

Herta then took over with 1m41.0584s, a tenth up on Friday pacesetter Alexander Rossi (McLaren). Rossi then turned the tables, going 0.147s faster on his final lap of 1m40.9112s on primaries, while Herta spun at Canada Corner to cause a fourth red flag.

Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing) then caused a final red by going off at the final corner in the closing moments of the incident-packed session.

Rosenqvist stayed third, just ahead of David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing), Marcus Armstrong (Ganassi), Ferrucci, Pato O’Ward (McLaren), Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti), Scott McLaughlin (Penske) and Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing).

Dario Franchitti’s qualifying track record of 1m39.866s will be tested in qualifying later at 12:55pm local time (6:55pm BST).

Read Also:
Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 14 1'40.9112     143.199
2 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'41.0584 0.1472 0.1472 142.991
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 13 1'41.2572 0.3460 0.1988 142.710
4 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 15 1'41.3010 0.3898 0.0438 142.648
5 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United States Chip Ganassi Racing 15 1'41.3488 0.4376 0.0478 142.581
6 United States Santino Ferrucci United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 1'41.3534 0.4422 0.0046 142.574
7 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 11 1'41.3769 0.4657 0.0235 142.541
8 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 9 1'41.3858 0.4746 0.0089 142.529
9 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 14 1'41.4493 0.5381 0.0635 142.440
10 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 16 1'41.4517 0.5405 0.0024 142.436
11 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'41.5682 0.6570 0.1165 142.273
12 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 13 1'41.7095 0.7983 0.1413 142.075
13 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'41.9269 1.0157 0.2174 141.772
14 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 17 1'42.0164 1.1052 0.0895 141.648
15 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'42.0724 1.1612 0.0560 141.570
16 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'42.0862 1.1750 0.0138 141.551
17 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 14 1'42.1872 1.2760 0.1010 141.411
18 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 13 1'42.1886 1.2774 0.0014 141.409
19 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Ed Carpenter Racing 15 1'42.2807 1.3695 0.0921 141.282
20 Ray Robb United States Dale Coyne Racing 14 1'42.2978 1.3866 0.0171 141.258
21 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 17 1'42.3454 1.4342 0.0476 141.192
22 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'42.5502 1.6390 0.2048 140.911
23 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 13 1'42.8979 1.9867 0.3477 140.434
24 Argentina Agustin Canapino United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 16 1'43.0053 2.0941 0.1074 140.288
25 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 5 1'43.7026 2.7914 0.6973 139.345
26 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 3 1'43.8228 2.9116 0.1202 139.183
27 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 2 1'46.2721 5.3609 2.4493 135.975

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