It was a promising ‘special session’ for the NTT IndyCar Series featuring seven drivers that experimented with improving the higher lanes at Texas Motor Speedway.
The participating drivers – Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Pato O’Ward, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Felix Rosenqvist and Takuma Sato – all volunteered for the chance to create multiple grooves ahead of Sunday’s XPEL 375. A combined total of 10 sets of Firestone tires from last year’s race were used for the session, with each driver having one set available to use. The exceptions were Power and Rahal, who will both have two.
The 30-minute session took place ahead of final practice, with the group combining to run 294 laps. There were no incidents in the session.
The final practice begins at 5:45PM ET.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) March 19, 2022
Overall, the session evolved with some positivity regarding a possible widened lane in Turns 3 and 4 of the 1.5-mile oval, which is banked at 24 degrees. While many ran the second lane, Castroneves opted at times to run the third lane through Turns 3 and 4.
There is little optimism on the possibility of widening Turns 1 and 2, banked at 20 degrees, based on feedback over the radio from the several drivers.
The early part of the session saw drivers running laps around 198-204 mph. However, it progressed with speeds pushing 209-211 mph. The best lap of 216.842 mph by Castroneves was set early, with the line believed to be mostly on the bottom lane.
- Castroneves, 216.842 mph
- Power, 211.193 mph
- Rosenqvist, 208.841 mph
- Sato, 207.759 mph
- Rahal, 206.168 mph
- Carpenter, 205.432 mph
- O’Ward, 203.709 mph