Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Pato O’Ward Sets Pace in Second Practice at Road America

Pato O'Ward put a flying lap at the very end to lead second practice.
Pato O’Ward put a flying lap at the very end to lead second practice. Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

Pato O’Ward put down a flying lap in the final moments to lead second practice for the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.

The 23-year-old Mexican rolled through the 14-turn, 4.048-mile permanent road course and recorded a session-best time at 1m45.2681s (137.272 mph) in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Will Power ended up second after holding the top time for the majority of the session. The No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet driver and current NTT IndyCar Series championship leader ended up a finishing 0.1168s behind O’Ward.

Reigning IndyCar champion and defending race winner Alex Palou was the first to set a competitive top time, but saw his No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda end up third overall by session’s end, 0.1381s off the leader’s mark.

After leading opening practice on Friday, Alexander Rossi was forced to wait on joining the action in second practice. The crew of the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda were forced to put some mechanical attention on Rossi’s challenger, which returned with roughly 25 minutes remaining in the 45-minute session and set the fourth quickest time.

Josef Newgarden ended up fifth to make it two Team Penske cars reprsented in the top five.

Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean, Scott McLaughlin and Scott Dixon rounded out the rest of the top 10.

The only incident in the session happened with 25 minutes remaining when Callum Ilott went off and temporarily stopped in Turn 5. However, he was able to get the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet back on track without significantly interrupting the session.

One notable was Kyle Kirkwood suffering an early end to the session, only recording five laps in total after a mechanical issue hit his No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

Up Next: Qualifying at 1:45 p.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock and the IndyCar Radio Network.

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