Hinchcliffe Tops Friday at Barber

Track conditions different from the first practice met the 24-car field at Barber Motorsports Park where dampness was traded for sunshine at the 2.3-mile natural terrain road course, promoting faster lap times and leading to a top lap time from James Hinchcliffe.

Hinchcliffe’s effort in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda led a brigade of cars from the Japanese manufacturer in the top six. His 1:08.9994 stood as the fastest lap of Practice 2 and of Friday’s running across both sessions, besting Rosenqvist’s chart-topping Practice 1 lap by 0.2302 seconds.

Circuit of The Americas race winner Colton Herta secured the second-fastest lap of the session, lapping just 0.0090 seconds shy of Hinchcliffe’s time and 0.0467 seconds quicker than fellow rookie Santino Ferrucci in third.

Ferrucci’s Dale Coyne Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais was fourth at the end of the 45-minute session while Alexander Rossi completed the top five in his Andretti Autosport machine.

Ryan Hunter-Reay placed sixth in his No. 28 Honda, just ahead of fellow American Spencer Pigot. Pigot’s best revolution in his No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing car made him the fastest Chevrolet representative in seventh.

Patricio O’Ward, competing in his second race with Carlin, put his Chevrolet eighth on the timesheet, cementing Honda’s 8-2 advantage in the top 10. That group was rounded out by Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon.

The session was slowed by a single red flag when Ferrucci went off course at Turn 16 and made contact with the tire barrier. He was assessed a five-minute time penalty for the interruption.

Several other drivers tested the track limits — allowed at the prior race at COTA but frowned upon at Barber — but none of the excursions were severe enough to trigger a red flag.

With Friday’s running complete, cars will be back on track Saturday at 10:45 a.m. CDT 3 for a third practice ahead of knockout qualifying at 3 p.m. Qualifying will be shown live on NBCSN beginning at 4 p.m. EDT.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
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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