Monday, March 27, 2023

Grosjean Tops Fast and Eventful Second Practice in Long Beach

Romain Grosjean during practice at Long Beach.
Romain Grosjean led second practice on Saturday morning on the Streets of Long Beach. Image courtesy of Chris Owens / Penske Entertainment

Romain Grosjean went fastest in a second practice that featured stout pace and red flags on Saturday morning for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Piloting the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda, Grosjean, equipped with Firestone alternate (red sidewall) tires, put down a flying lap at 1m05.6520s around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. The pace was 0.0451s quicker than teammate and defending race winner Colton Herta, who kicked off the session with the first lap under the 1m6s mark on a set of Firestone primary (black sidewall) tires.

Will Power was best among the Team Penske trio, ending up third but 0.283s off the leader’s time. Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud came away fourth and fifth, respectively.

Marcus Ericsson backed up his Friday effort with a sixth-place run in the session, just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou in seventh. Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon and rookie Kyle Kirkwood rounded out the rest of the top 10.

Similar to Friday, the session was eventful with several cars needing to take advantage of the runoff area.

Jimmie Johnson, who sustained a fractured hand after a crash in Turn 5 of Friday’s practice, was running on a set of alternates when he found the tire barrier entering Turn 1 with 12 minutes remaining. The incident ended his session and brought out the first red flag.

Moments prior, Pagenaud hit a 1m05.9989s lap to go top of the charts on a set of primary tires.

Once practice resumed, the majority of the field changed to the alternate compound, but rookie David Malukas brought out the red flag shortly after finding the wall when entering the Fountain section. Despite another restart, Graham Rahal had a similar off at the Fountain, making substantial contact into the tire barrier. Although he was able to continue around and return to the pits for a front wing change, the red flag was shown once again.

Upon another restart with just over six minutes to go, the field returned to the track where Grosjean was able to seize control of the session with a flyer.


Up Next: Qualifying at 3 p.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock and the IndyCar Radio Network.

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