Newgarden, McLaughlin lead sole Gateway practice

Josef Newgarden in action at Gateway Motorsports Park. Picture: Chris Owens

Team Penske has laid down the gauntlet in practice as the IndyCar Series returns to oval racing for the final time in 2021.

Josef Newgarden was fastest of all in the 90-minute session at Gateway Motorsports Park, delivering a lap time of 25.1715s.

Right on his tail was Penske team-mate Scott McLaughlin, in a promising sign for the Kiwi after a tough recent run of form.

“We jumped into the track when it was quite green, and it was a bit nervous and wasn’t really feeling the way I wanted it, so we made some really good changes across the session, and the DEX Imaging Chevy is going really good,” McLaughlin said.

“I’m excited for what’s ahead. It’s nice to be on an oval. I love them so much and have really taken to them.”

McLaughlin, of course, took a stunning second-place finish on his oval debut back in May at Texas Motor Speedway and was Penske’s top qualifier at the Indianapolis 500.

Third was Ryan Hunter-Reay, ahead of Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon.

Oval debutant Romain Grosjean was an impressive 11th, while Australia’s Will Power was 16th – one place ahead of series leader Alex Palou.

Track position has been tipped as being vital for the 260-lap race which will start at 10:00 AEST today.

Before then, qualifying will get underway at 07:00 AEST.

IndyCar results: Practice, Bommarito Automotive Group 500

RANK DRIVER CAR NO. BEST TIME BEST SPEED TOTAL LAPS DIFFERENCE
1 Josef Newgarden 2 00:25.2 178.774 54 –.—-
2 Scott McLaughlin 3 00:25.3 177.669 67 0.1565
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 28 00:25.3 177.541 41 0.1747
4 Graham Rahal 15 00:25.4 177.473 62 0.1845
5 Scott Dixon 9 00:25.4 177.463 48 0.1859
6 Marcus Ericsson 8 00:25.4 177.393 67 0.1959
7 Felix Rosenqvist 7 00:25.4 177.163 58 0.2289
8 Colton Herta 26 00:25.5 176.728 52 0.2913
9 James Hinchcliffe 29 00:25.5 176.726 50 0.2917
10 Pato O’Ward 5 00:25.5 176.701 51 0.2952
11 Romain Grosjean 51 00:25.5 176.608 72 0.3086
12 Alexander Rossi 27 00:25.5 176.493 50 0.3253
13 Takuma Sato 30 00:25.5 176.373 63 0.3426
14 Simon Pagenaud 22 00:25.5 176.37 51 0.343
15 Ed Jones 18 00:25.6 176.091 57 0.3835
16 Will Power 12 00:25.6 176.063 82 0.3876
17 Alex Palou 10 00:25.6 175.906 65 0.4103
18 Conor Daly 59 00:25.6 175.671 45 0.4445
19 Jack Harvey 60 00:25.7 175.204 61 0.5129
20 Tony Kanaan 48 00:25.8 174.658 55 0.5932
21 Sebastien Bourdais 14 00:25.8 174.288 87 0.6479
22 Rinus VeeKay 21 00:25.8 174.083 53 0.6783
23 Dalton Kellett 4 00:25.9 173.873 62 0.7095
24 Ed Carpenter 20 00:26.0 173.129 60 0.8207

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]