Road America IndyCar: Grosjean tops practice, Magnussen 23rd on debut

Romain Grosjean topped the opening IndyCar practice session at Road America for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, as his former Formula 1 team-mate Kevin Magnussen ended his first session 23rd.

Road America IndyCar: Grosjean tops practice, Magnussen 23rd on debut

Making his first visit to the 4.014-mile circuit, Grosjean clocked a best time of 1m47.678s to rebound well from a difficult weekend in Detroit in which he retired from both races.

His best effort was 0.124s quicker than 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport machine, while Team Penske's two-time champion and 2018 Road America winner Josef Newgarden was a mere 0.04s behind.

Alex Palou, who scored his first ever IndyCar podium at the Elkhart Lake track last year with Coyne, was the best of the Chip Ganassi Racing stable in fourth on a 1min47.851s.

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and Colton Herta's Andretti Autosport entry were also within half a second of top spot in fifth and sixth positions, with St. Petersburg winner Herta surviving an off-track excursions at the end of a flying lap.

Sebastien Bourdais, who won the final Champ Car race at Road America in 2007, was seventh fastest for AJ Foyt Racing ahead of Penske rookie Scott McLaughlin.

Oliver Askew made a strong first impression on the Ed Carpenter Racing team by clocking the ninth quickest time.

The 2019 Indy Lights champion, who lost his drive with Arrow McLaren SP only to return to the team in last weekend in Detroit to sub for Felix Rosenqvist in race two, has been called up by ECR to replace Rinus VeeKay after the Dutchman was injured in a cycling accident.

Despite not being granted the extra set of tyres that all rookies get in the opening practice session, Askew was just 0.6s off Grosjean.

Will Power, another to try out the circuit limits, completed the top 10 for Team Penske, while championship leader Pato O’Ward could only muster the 11th quickest time for Arrow McLaren SP.

His stand-in team-mate for the weekend in Rosenqvist's continued absence, as he continues to recover from his sizeable race one shunt, Magnussen clocked the 23rd fastest time on his IndyCar debut.

Kevin Magnussen, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Kevin Magnussen, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

Without any test experience of the Dallara IR-18, the Dane lapped 2.184s slower than Grosjean, his team-mate at Haas between 2018 and 2020.

NASCAR regular Cody Ware, another driver making his debut in a second Coyne-RWR entry, was 22nd fastest, while Coyne season regular Ed Jones was unable to take part in practice because of a small fire.

Tomorrow’s second practice begins at 10.10am local time, with qualifying following at 1.30pm and final practice at 4.30pm.

Results

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 France Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'47.678  
2 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'47.802 0.124
3 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'47.841 0.163
4 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'47.851 0.173
5 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'48.093 0.415
6 United States Colton Herta Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 1'48.140 0.462
7 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'48.248 0.570
8 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 1'48.284 0.606
9 United States Oliver Askew United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'48.300 0.621
10 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'48.343 0.665
11 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 1'48.425 0.747
12 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'48.441 0.763
13 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'48.456 0.778
14 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'48.662 0.984
15 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'48.669 0.990
16 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'48.737 1.059
17 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'48.983 1.305
18 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'49.024 1.346
19 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 1'49.367 1.689
20 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1'49.535 1.857
21 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'50.076 2.398
22 United States Cody Ware Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'50.298 2.620
23 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Arrow McLaren SP 1'50.492 2.814
24 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'50.494 2.816
25 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan    
 

 

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