Exactly one year after Robert Wickens made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in two practice sessions at Road America, the rookie driver topped Practice 3 for the 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix.
- Results: 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix Practice 3
On his best lap, Wickens traversed the 4.014-mile road course nearly two-tenths of a second quicker than Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay who claimed the second position. Although fastest in the session, Wickens’ 1:42.9915 did not eclipse his best lap from Practice 2 that placed him second on Friday’s combined timesheet.
Hunter-Reay’s 1:43.1725 put a second Honda at the top of the leaderboard ahead of Simon Pagenaud, the fastest Chevrolet pilot. Pagenaud’s best lap, almost two-tenths of a second slower than Wickens, represented the best effort by the Team Penske trio. Teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden ended the session placed sixth and 13th, respectively.
Alexander Rossi and Graham Rahal completed the top five in their Honda-powered machinery, giving the engine manufacturer’s championship points leader a 4-1 advantage over Chevrolet. Scott Dixon, Zach Veach, James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais — all Honda drivers — lined up behind Power to round out the top 10.
IndyCar’s newest teams occupied the bottom of the timesheet with Carlin’s Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton, Juncos Racing’s Alfonso Celis Jr. and Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves in positions 20 through 23.
The session was slowed by a single red flag when Veach went off course at Turn 13. After a trip through the grass and an aborted attempt to get going again for the Ohioan rookie, INDYCAR paused the session to retrieve Veach’s stalled race car.
The 23-driver field will return to the track Saturday at 3 p.m. CDT for three rounds of qualifying to set the grid for Sunday’s 55-lap race, set to go green at 12:12 p.m. with live coverage on NBCSN opening at 12:30 p.m. EDT.