Long Beach IndyCar: Herta sets the pace again in second practice

Colton Herta turned the fastest lap of the weekend so far to top second practice for the IndyCar season finale at Long Beach this weekend.

Long Beach IndyCar: Herta sets the pace again in second practice

Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe was the first to turn a 1m09s lap in the 45-minute session, having won at the street circuit back in 2017, to put him a quarter of a second clear of the rest of the pack after 10 minutes.

The pack was headed by championship leader Alex Palou - the Spaniard having a near-miss the Turn 1 on the exit.

Pato O’Ward then turned a 1m09.048s lap to go top, the #5 Arrow McLaren SP apparently far more to his taste after only managing 16th in yesterday’s practice, before he was usurped by Josef Newgarden with a 1m09.034s, while FP1 pacesetter Herta brushed the wall with his left-front on the exit of the fountain turn.

Herta then ducked under the 69s barrier with a 1m08.9704s – before outbraking himself into Turn 1 and having to take to the run-off zone.

Simon Pagenaud moved up to fifth, while Romain Grosjean, after investigating runoffs on three occasions, moved his Dale Coyne Racing machine into sixth, swiftly followed by Ed Jones in the Coyne-Vasser Sullivan car clocking seventh.

Herta moved the bar still lower, with a 1m08.685s with Will Power jumping into second place but three-tenths behind.

Alexander Rossi, who won the last two GPs of Long Beach, moved into second, less than a tenth off his young team-mate.

On his first attempt on the red Firestone tyre, Ryan Hunter-Reay clipped the inside wall at Turn 8, bouncing him out into the exit wall, meaning he crawled back to the pits with his damaged car.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Then the Penske-Chevrolets sprang to the top, with Power producing a 1m08.127s as Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin completed a Penske 1-2-3, but only briefly as Hinchcliffe moved into third.

But none of them could match Herta who scorched around the track with a stunning 1m07.978s, 0.15s ahead of Power.

Palou’s first attempt at a qualifying run on the reds were stymied by traffic, while Pagenaud ensured all four Penskes were in the top six.

A red-flag was produced at the end of the session after Scott Dixon skidded into the Turn 1 tyres and stalled, as Felix Rosenqvist ended faster than AMSP team-mate O’Ward who finished the session in the Turn 9 run-off, while Grosjean and Harvey completed the Top 10.

Long Beach IndyCar Practice 2 results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 21 1'07.978  
2 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 24 1'08.127 0.149
3 Canada James Hinchcliffe United States Andretti Autosport 21 1'08.225 0.246
4 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 21 1'08.292 0.313
5 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 23 1'08.429 0.451
6 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 23 1'08.477 0.498
7 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 22 1'08.488 0.510
8 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 21 1'08.510 0.532
9 France Romain Grosjean United States Dale Coyne Racing 21 1'08.543 0.565
10 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 20 1'08.549 0.571
11 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones United States Dale Coyne Racing 18 1'08.590 0.612
12 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 24 1'08.681 0.702
13 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 19 1'08.687 0.709
14 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 20 1'08.780 0.802
15 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 23 1'08.816 0.838
16 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 24 1'08.823 0.845
17 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 19 1'09.135 1.157
18 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 14 1'09.163 1.184
19 United States Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 19 1'09.218 1.240
20 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 23 1'09.248 1.270
21 United States Oliver Askew United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 21 1'09.325 1.347
22 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 23 1'09.361 1.383
23 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 21 1'09.405 1.426
24 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 23 1'09.435 1.457
25 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 19 1'09.525 1.546
26 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 21 1'09.538 1.559
27 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 22 1'09.865 1.886
28 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1'10.244 2.266
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