Will Power quickest in Laguna Seca open test

Will Power in Thursday's open test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Will Power in Thursday’s open test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Image by James Black/Penske Entertainment.

Will Power took advantage of a freshly-repaved WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to set the quickest time in the pre-event test ahead of the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix for the NTT IndyCar Series.

The two-time IndyCar champion set a fastest lap of 1:07.2762 sec. to average 119.757 mph. Power’s fastest lap unofficially beat the qualifying track record set in 2000 by Helio Castroneves by just under half a second.

“Very nice, very smooth, a lot of grip,” Power said of the track surface. “Obviously tough offline. Yeah, it’s incredibly fast. I don’t know what was qualifying last year, pole? Five seconds quicker, yeah? Four seconds, yeah. It’s getting there.”

Christian Lundgaard was second fastest ahead of Scott McLaughlin, Juri Vips and Marcus Ericsson to round out the top five. The top 10 drivers were all faster than Castroneves’s track record.

There were numerous delays for off-track excursions as drivers tested the limits of the new pavement. Much like Road America, the first opportunity of on-track action required some time to allow drivers to get acclimated to the new surface.

Stan Sport is the only way to watch every round of the INDYCAR SERIES. Click here for all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand.

“The other thing is not only, like, calibrating your mind in terms of what the limit of the car and the corner is, but every time you go out there’s more rubber that’s going down, right? Even second, third run tires, you’re still improving,” said sixth-fastest driver Alexander Rossi.

“It’s a moving target for a while, but then it will reach a point where it’s not. I think that’s when it gets challenging. Still, it just keeps going quicker.”

Friday’s practice session starts at 2:30 p.m. local time, 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning AEST time.

Open test results:

  1. Will Power
  2. Christian Lundgaard
  3. Scott McLaughlin
  4. Juri Vips
  5. Marcus Ericsson
  6. Alexander Rossi
  7. Pato O’Ward
  8. Felix Rosenqvist
  9. Kyle Kirkwood
  10. Scott Dixon
  11. Graham Rahal
  12. Alex Palou
  13. Rinus VeeKay
  14. Santino Ferrucci
  15. Josef Newgarden
  16. Romain Grosjean
  17. David Malukas
  18. Colton Herta
  19. Marcus Armstrong
  20. Agustin Canapino
  21. Devlin DeFrancesco
  22. Benjamin Pedersen
  23. Callum Ilott
  24. Tom Blomqvist
  25. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  26. Sting Ray Robb
  27. Helio Castroneves

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]