Monday, March 20, 2023

O’Ward Tops Second Practice for Indy GP

Pato O'Ward led the way in second practice for the GMR Grand Prix.
Pato O’Ward paced the field in an challenging second practice on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

Pato O’Ward led the way in an eventful second practice for this weekend’s GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The 23-year-old Mexican pilot wheeled the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet around 14-turn, 2.349-mile road course for 18 laps, with an outright best flying lap at 1m,09.7839s (125.823 mph). Alex Palou, who led opening practice earlier in the day, ended up second just 0.0298s behind O’Ward.

Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta came away from the 45-minute session in third, just ahead of defending race winner and driver of the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay in fourth. Rookie Christian Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ended up fifth.

Romain Grosjean, Conor Daly, Felix Rosenqvist, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power rounded out the rest of the top 10.

Conditions were tricky with track temperatures hovering around 120F, which led to numerous drivers locking up or sliding off into the runoff area.

There were two red flag incidents during the session, both for issues at Turn 4. The first was brought on after Dalton Kellett’s No. 4 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet ended up off and stuck in the gravel trap with 38 minutes remaining. Then, only five minutes later, the treacherous corner caught out the No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda of Jimmie Johnson, who also needed a tow out of the sandbox.

Other notables include Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon, both of whom were outside the top 15 at the conclusion of the session. Newgarden’s No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet appeared to have an apparent mechanical issue on pit road but he was able to continue, putting down a total of 12 laps before ending up 16th. Meanwhile, Dixon ran 24 laps – tying Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Palou for most in the session – and was left muddled down in 20th out of 27 cars.

Up Next: Qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock, IndyCar Live and the IndyCar Radio Network.

PositionCar No.DriverLap TimeDiff.Laps
15Pato O'Ward1:09.7839 18
210Alex Palou1:09.8137 -0.029824
326Colton Herta1:09.8423-0.0584 18
421Rinus VeeKay1:09.9265-0.1426 19
530Christian Lundgaard (R)1:10.0002 -0.216322
628Romain Grosjean1:10.0161-0.232219
720Conor Daly1:10.0395-0.255620
87Felix Rosenqvist1:10.0545-0.270618
960Simon Pagenaud1:10.0562 -0.272320
1012Will Power1:10.0632 -0.279321
113Scott McLaughlin1:10.0794 -0.295523
1245Jack Harvey1:10.0971 -0.313219
138Marcus Ericsson1:10.1436 -0.359723
1451Takuma Sato1:10.2080 -0.424118
1515Graham Rahal1:10.2166 -0.432722
162Josef Newgarden1:10.2617 -0.4778 12
1727Alexander Rossi1:10.2692 -0.485319
1806Helio Castroneves1:10.2712 -0.487317
1977Callum Ilott (R)1:10.4747 -0.690819
209Scott Dixon1:10.5045 -0.720624
2114Kyle Kirkwood (R)1:10.5316 -0.747720
2229Devlin DeFrancesco (R)1:10.5521 -0.768220
2318David Malukas (R)1:10.7052 -0.921317
246Juan Pablo Montoya1:11.0173 -1.2334 9
254Dalton Kellett1:11.2065 -1.422616
2611Tatiana Calderon (R)1:11.3938 -1.609919
2748Jimmie Johnson1:11.6939 -1.9100 22

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