IndyCar Harvest GP: Palou tops practice on IMS road course

Alex Palou put the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh squad on top of the 75min practice session ahead of qualifying for Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix.

With temperatures some 30degF cooler than when the teams last raced here on July the Fourth weekend, Palou turned a lap of 1min10.178sec, an average speed of 125.117mph, to head Meyer Shank Racing Honda’s Jack Harvey by 0.0996sec.

It was a somewhat inconclusive session because Marcus Ericsson spun his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda with fewer than five minutes to go, before many of the team had tried out their red-sidewalled softer-compound Firestones.

Nonetheless, Palou’s speed was impressive as it virtually equaled Will Power’s pole position time from July. The Team Penske-Chevrolet driver was unable to set a representative time on reds as he and Andretti Autosport-Honda driver Alexander Rossi had a feather-light rub together at the end of the back straight when the field made a dash for the track in the closing three minutes. The silver #12 looped into a spin, and Rossi himself was delayed enough that he too missed setting a time.

Thus it was Colton Herta who upheld Andretti Autosport honor with third fastest time ahead of champion elect Scott Dixon of Ganassi.

Max Chilton, who shone here at IMS road course in July, looked impressive again, finishing fifth ahead of defending champion Josef Newgarden in the fastest of the Penske cars, Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda, Patricio O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy, Felix Rosenqvist (Ganassi) and Simon Pagenaud (Penske).

Prepping for his first IndyCar race of the year, Sebastien Bourdais was 22nd for AJ Foyt Racing, just ahead of Helio Castroneves. The Brazilian 45-year-old hasn’t competed on a road course in an IndyCar since this same venue in May 2019, and as an Arrow McLaren SP driver, standing in for medically unfit rookie Oliver Askew, he hasn’t driven a non-Penske IndyCar for 21 years!

James Hinchcliffe, replacing Zach Veach in the #26 Gainbridge Andretti car, was 24th fastest.

Qualifying begins at 6.20pm local (Eastern) time, and – as with all road/street course double-headers – will see the field divided in half, and the fastest driver taking pole and earning his group the odd-numbered side of the grid.

Cla # Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 55 Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh 25 1’10.177   125.117
2 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing 22 1’10.277 0.099 124.939
3 88 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport 23 1’10.385 0.208 124.747
4 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1’10.432 0.255 124.664
5 59 Max Chilton Carlin 27 1’10.463 0.285 124.609
6 1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske 23 1’10.530 0.353 124.490
7 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 29 1’10.629 0.451 124.317
8 5 Patricio O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP 29 1’10.630 0.453 124.314
9 10 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 29 1’10.633 0.455 124.310
10 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 23 1’10.636 0.459 124.304
11 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 30 1’10.753 0.575 124.099
12 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 23 1’10.758 0.580 124.090
13 21 Rinus van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 27 1’10.824 0.647 123.974
14 12 Will Power Team Penske 25 1’10.838 0.660 123.950
15 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 25 1’10.847 0.669 123.935
16 18 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 15 1’10.970 0.792 123.720
17 41 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises 26 1’11.136 0.958 123.431
18 20 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing 25 1’11.145 0.967 123.415
19 8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing 26 1’11.191 1.013 123.335
20 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 28 1’11.382 1.205 123.004
21 4 Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Enterprises 26 1’11.453 1.276 122.882
22 14 Sébastien Bourdais A.J. Foyt Enterprises 26 1’11.479 1.302 122.837
23 7 Helio Castroneves Arrow McLaren SP 26 1’11.626 1.449 122.585
24 26 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport 23 1’11.657 1.479 122.533
25 24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 11 1’12.097 1.919 121.785
View full results


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