Laguna Seca IndyCar: Colton Herta leads Felix Rosenqvist in practice

David Malsher
Herta leads Laguna practice as rookies fly but go off
Herta leads Laguna practice as rookies fly but go off

Colton Herta led fellow IndyCar rookies Felix Rosenqvist and Santino Ferrucci in opening practice for the Laguna Seca finale, despite all three going off and Herta causing a red flag.

Herta's 1m10.734s lap in his Harding Steinbrenner Racing Dallara-Honda pipped Rookie of the Year points leader Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing by just 0.0719 seconds.

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But in the dying seconds of the session Herta looped into the runoff on the outside of the initial left-hand part of the Corkscrew, and no amount of wheelspinning could recover the situation without outside assistance.

That red was the second of the session, as Tony Kanaan had earlier binned his AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet at the final corner.

Herta leads Laguna practice as rookies fly but go off
Herta leads Laguna practice as rookies fly but go off

Rosenqvist had a long run through the sand on the outside of the Turn 4 right-hander and a wild moment through the Corkscrew before scoring his best time on his final lap, while Dale Coyne Racing driver Ferrucci also had some wild moments before setting a time just 0.15s off Herta's best.

Team Penske's Will Power was fastest of the series veterans and fastest of the Chevrolet runners, albeit 0.27s off the ultimate pace, in fourth.

Zach Veach was fifth and fastest of the Andretti Autosport cars, while Simon Pagenaud was first of the championship contenders in sixth.

The other title contenders - points leader Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon - were ninth, 24th and 14th respectively.

Rossi was on a hot lap when Kanaan brought out the red flag, and he then asked for a significant set-up change that required him to step out of the car for 20 minutes.

When Rossi resumed, there were just three minutes to go, at which point Herta's spin prevented him setting a representative time.

Practice one times

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Time

Gap

Laps

1

Colton Herta

Harding Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m10.7335s

-

13

2

Felix Rosenqvist

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m10.8054s

0.0719s

18

3

Santino Ferrucci

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m10.8837s

0.1502s

16

4

Will Power

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.0024s

0.2689s

12

5

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m11.0816s

0.3481s

13

6

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.1519s

0.4184s

12

7

Sebastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m11.1581s

0.4246s

10

8

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.2382s

0.5047s

9

9

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.2460s

0.5125s

9

10

Matheus Leist

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.2702s

0.5367s

11

11

Marco Andretti

Andretti Herta

Dallara/Honda

1m11.2827s

0.5492s

8

12

Marcus Ericsson

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

1m11.3015s

0.5680s

13

13

Max Chilton

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.4110s

0.6775s

13

14

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m11.4451s

0.7116s

8

15

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m11.4532s

0.7197s

8

16

Charlie Kimball

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.5472s

0.8137s

10

17

Tony Kanaan

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m11.6237s

0.8902s

5

18

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

1m11.6773s

0.9438s

12

19

Jack Harvey

Meyer Shank Racing

Dallara/Honda

1m11.7449s

1.0114s

10

20

Conor Daly

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m11.9320s

1.1985s

10

21

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

1m12.0043s

1.2708s

9

22

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

1m12.0125s

1.2790s

10

23

Ed Jones

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

1m12.1601s

1.4266s

13

24

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

1m12.9932s

2.2597s

4

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