Lap times improved and Ryan Hunter-Reay surfaced as the fastest driver in the second practice session of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season.
Hunter-Reay’s quickest revolution of the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit, at 1:00.8969, was 0.9246 seconds quicker than Felix Rosenqvist’s Practice 1-topping lap and put the Andretti Autosport pilot 0.0843 seconds clear of Spencer Pigot in Friday’s second session.
A second Honda entered by Andretti ended up third in the form of Marco Andretti’s No. 98 machine, scored 0.1382 seconds off Hunter-Reay’s pace.
Colton Herta and Max Chilton took the last two spots in the top five, giving Honda a 3-2 advantage in the group and creating a split of just 0.2202 seconds between the top five cars.
Drivers representing Honda’s American competition balanced that divide in the top 10 with the presence Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden and Will Power in positions 6–10 giving Chevrolet an even share.
Veterans Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Sebastien Bourdais and Tony Kanaan returned to the pit lane placed 13th, 17th, 18th and 22nd, respectively, at the end of the session that ended early due to an off by Herta but was otherwise uninterrupted.
With the season’s first day of action complete, the 24 Indy cars will be back on track Saturday at 10:25 a.m. EST for a final 45-minute practice. Qualifying will begin at 2:30 p.m. with live television coverage on NBCSN.