Sunday, June 4, 2023

Alexander Rossi Leads Andretti Autosport 1-2 in Opening Practice at Road America

Alexander Rossi led opening practice at Road America.
Alexander Rossi led the way in IndyCar’s opening practice at Road America. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

Alexander Rossi went quickest in opening practice at Road America.

Piloting the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda, the 30-year-old California native put down a flying lap of 1m45.6027s (136.837 mph) around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile permanent road course.

Colton Herta managed to unseat his Andretti Autosport teammate’s original pace-setting time and sit atop the leaderboard in final 10 minutes, but Rossi reclaimed the spot moments later. Ultimately, Herta ended up 0.1334s behind in second.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson put his No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in third, just ahead of Team Penske’s Will Power in fourth.

Defending IndyCar champion and last year’s race winner at Road America, Alex Palou claimed the final spot in the top five.

Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Pato O’Ward rounded out the rest of the top 10.

Other notables include Callum Ilott, who returned and is driving with a broken bone in his right hand sustained from a crash in the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago. The 23-year-old Briton put the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet a respectable 15th, just 1.1652s off the top time. Making her and the team’s first appearance of the 2022 season, Simona De Silvestro and Paretta Autosport spent the majority of the session getting reacclimated, ending 3.1463s off the pace in 27th with the No. 16 entry.

The only incident in the session was a red flag, which flew after Helio Castroneves spun and stopped in Turn 12 with just under 20 minutes remaining. The session resumed with 13 minutes to go, with the No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda of Castroneves ending 25th on the timesheets.

In a swap in comparison to other race weekends on road and street circuits, teams were allowed to run the softer alternate (red sidewall) Firestone tire compound in opening practice at “America’s National Park of Speed” but will not have the option for second practice – utilizing the primary (black) tire compound only. Additionally, each team was required to return one set of alternates at the conclusion of opening practice.

Up Next: The second practice session is set for 10:45 a.m. ET on Saturday, with live coverage on Peacock and the IndyCar Radio Network.

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