Mid-Ohio, EL1: Newgarden on its way
Winner at Road America, Josef Newgarden continued his momentum by dominating the first free practice at Mid-Ohio, the scene of the 9th round of the season which counted a total of 17!
Twice winner at Mid-Ohio, Josef Newgarden made his mark on the first day by setting the best time in the first free practice session!
Mid-Ohio, Newgarden in form at EL1
Winner last year at Mid-Ohio, Newgarden, driving his No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, set his best lap in 1’07″0549. « The car was really good »did he declare. « I think the temperatures definitely helped lower the speeds, and it felt very difficult to drive the car today to warm it up. I’m relatively happy. I think our car was good at the out of the truck. »
Defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou finished the 75-minute session in second place with a best time of 1:07.2610 in the #10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Felix Rosenqvist completed the trio of lead with a best time of 1’07″3171 in the #7 Chevrolet Vuse Arrow McLaren SP.
Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Marcus Ericsson, who finished second in that race in 2021, finished the day fourth in the #8 Honda Ridgeline Lubricants in 1’07.3720, and Colton Herta completed the top five on the #26 Honda Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian in 1’07″4998.
David Malukas was the fastest rookie of the session, placing eighth with a fastest lap of 1:07.5361 in HMD’s #18 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports. He completed 26 laps for his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES session in Mid-Ohio.
« I think everything was very good on our side »said Malukas. « From the start to the end of this session, it was good. Mid-Ohio is so special, because every time you go out on the track, it’s completely different, and the track conditions to start the session were very difficult, to say the least. »
The only incident of the session occurred about 40 minutes from the end. Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato lost control of the #51 Honda Nurtec ODT on turn one and spun into the gravel trap.