Herta leads Dixon in first Nashville practice
Saturday 7th August, 2021 - 8:20am
Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta has set the pace in the first-ever practice at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in downtown Nashville.
The 21-year-old clocked a session best 1:16.5875s to edge out Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon on a 1:16.9653s by 0.3778s.
Practice 1 marked the first chance for the drivers to get a taste of the IndyCar Series’ newest venue, the Nashville Street Circuit.
Speaking after the sessions, Herta likened the course to the Belle Isle Street Circuit in Detroit, which is famed for its bumps.
“It’s difficult, obviously with the bumps going over the bridge,” said Herta.
“I’d say it’s even bumpier than Detroit, which we always say is the most difficult street course that we go to. This one might take it.
“I’m just getting to grips with the track. Obviously, we came here with a really good package because we were so fast right away.”
Herta and Dixon were the only two drivers to set a time under the 1:17s bracket with Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing) the next best in third on a 1:17.1305s.
Herta’s Andretti Autosport team-mate Alexander Rossi was fourth fastest and 0.5867s adrift on a 1:17.1742s while Marcus Ericsson on Chip Ganassi Racing was fifth and 0.6293s off the pace.
Three of the four Chip Ganassi Racing entries were inside the top 10 with series leader Alex Palou in sixth-equal with McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist, the pair setting an identical best time of 1:17.2264s.
Will Power led Team Penske stable-mates Scott McLaughlin and Simon Pagenaud from eighth to 10th while local man Josef Newgarden was just behind in 12th and 1.0s off Herta.
.@PatricioOWard hit the wall hard in turn 3.
He has been seen and released by the medical team.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) August 6, 2021
The session was punctuated by two incidents, the first being that of Pato O’Ward who clipped the inside wall at Turn 3 and speared hard into the adjacent outside wall.
The McLaren SP driver would complete just seven laps of the 11-turn circuit, finishing the session 2.0s off the pace in 21st.
In 22nd, Conor Daly ended his session in the wall, a big slide at Turn 1 casting the Ed Carpenter Racing driver into the tyre wall.
Practice 2 takes place tomorrow at 03:00 AEST followed by Qualifying at 06:30 AEST.
Results: Music City Grand Prix, Practice 1
|1||26||Colton Herta||1:16.5875||1:16.5875||0||27||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||1:16.9653||0.3778||0.3778||25||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|3||51||Romain Grosjean||1:17.1305||0.5430||0.1652||27||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing|
|4||27||Alexander Rossi||1:17.1742||0.5867||0.0437||24||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|5||8||Marcus Ericsson||1:17.2168||0.6293||0.0426||28||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|6||10||Alex Palou||1:17.2264||0.6389||0.0096||25||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||7||Felix Rosenqvist||1:17.2264||0.6389||0.0000||24||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|8||12||Will Power||1:17.2436||0.6561||0.0172||30||Chevy||Team Penske|
|9||3||Scott McLaughlin||1:17.4072||0.8197||0.1636||25||Chevy||Team Penske|
|10||22||Simon Pagenaud||1:17.4535||0.8660||0.0463||23||Chevy||Team Penske|
|11||60||Jack Harvey||1:17.4673||0.8798||0.0138||26||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|12||2||Josef Newgarden||1:17.6603||1.0728||0.1930||25||Chevy||Team Penske|
|13||29||James Hinchcliffe||1:17.8570||1.2695||0.1967||22||Honda||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport|
|14||15||Graham Rahal||1:17.9825||1.3950||0.1255||26||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|15||14||Sebastien Bourdais||1:18.0334||1.4459||0.0509||28||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|
|16||21||Rinus VeeKay||1:18.1627||1.5752||0.1293||28||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|17||30||Takuma Sato||1:18.2167||1.6292||0.054||26||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|18||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||1:18.2922||1.7047||0.0755||26||Honda||Andretti Autosport|
|19||18||Ed Jones||1:18.3479||1.7604||0.0557||23||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan|
|20||6||Helio Castroneves||1:18.4276||1.8401||0.0797||29||Honda||Meyer Shank Racing|
|21||5||Pato O’Ward||1:18.6224||2.0349||0.1948||7||Chevy||Arrow McLaren SP|
|22||20||Conor Daly||1:18.8007||2.2132||0.1783||24||Chevy||Ed Carpenter Racing|
|23||48||Jimmie Johnson||1:19.8877||3.3002||1.087||29||Honda||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|25||45||Santino Ferrucci||1:21.3815||4.7940||1.183||22||Honda||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing|
|26||52||Cody Ware||1:24.0268||7.4393||2.6453||22||Honda||Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing|
|27||4||Dalton Kellett||No Time||Chevy||AJ Foyt Enterprises|