Saturday, April 20, 2019

Herta Paces Long Beach Warm-Up


Twenty-three NTT IndyCar Series drivers turned 454 laps in a frenetic 30-minute morning warm-up topped by Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s rookie driver Colton Herta.

Utilizing the final chance to prepare for the 85-lap Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, many drivers ventured onto the 1.968-mile circuit on red-sidewalled alternate Firestone Firehawk tires, setting faster laps as the session wore on and the track rubbered in.

Herta’s fastest lap, a 1:07.1053, was his high mark of the weekend, surpassing even his qualifying effort by 0.1148 seconds.

Andretti Autosport, which provides technical assistance to Herta’s team, locked out the next two positions in the running order with Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Furthering Honda’s domination of the session, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing claimed the remainder of the top five with Graham Rahal landing fourth and Barber Motorsports Park victor Takuma Sato placing fifth.

Scott Dixon slotted his PNC Bank-liveried Chip Ganassi Racing Honda sixth on the warm-up timesheet ahead of Andretti’s Alexander Rossi and Zach Veach in seventh and eighth, ensuring all four of the team’s drivers were in the top eight.

Sebastien Bourdais’ Dale Coyne Racing Honda turned the last of the consecutive quick laps for the Japanese manufacturer, completing a sweep of the top nine for Chevrolet’s competition.

The honor of the fastest Chevrolet didn’t go one of the usual suspects from Team Penske but rather to Spencer Pigot, whose 1:08.3886 was good enough for 10th. Will Power was Penske’s fastest driver with the 13th-fastest lap, ahead of Simon Pagenaud in 15th and Josef Newgarden in 20th.

Besides Herta, the remainder of the rookies placed in the bottom half of the results, ranging from Patricio O’Ward in 12th to Marcus Ericsson in 23rd.

The cars and their drivers will be back track Sunday to conclude the weekend with the race itself. Live television coverage will begin on NBCSN at 4 p.m. EDT, 42 minutes before the scheduled green flag time.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinc
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

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