Rookie Colton Herta schooled fellow first timers and veterans alike with blistering pace in the second practice for Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.
- Results: 2019 INDYCAR Grand Prix Practice 2
Lap times fell late in Practice 2 as drivers sampled the red-sidewalled Firestone alternate tires that will be utilized in both qualifying later in the day and the race itself in a little over 24 hours.
On his second lap on the softer tires, Herta came close to breaking the 68-second barrier with a 1:08.0393, lapping two-tenths of a second quicker than his closest competitor. The Harding Steinbrenner Racing driver, who earned his first career victory in March at Circuit of The Americas, placed 15th in Practice 1, nearly half a second off the pace of session leader Will Power.
Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Felix Rosenqvist had the second-fastest lap during the 45-minute session and led a group of four drivers all within a tenth of a second which included Spencer Pigot, Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon, who completed the top five.
Barber Motorsports Park winner Takuma Sato again showed speed with the sixth-fastest lap, ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jack Harvey, Marcus Ericsson and Ed Jones in seventh through 10th.
With eight Hondas in the top 10, most of the Chevrolet-powered entries were relegated to the bottom half of the timesheet — including all four Team Penske machines. AJ Foyt Racing’s Brazilian duo of Matheus Leist and Tony Kanaan placed 22nd and 23rd ahead of Carlin’s Patricio O’Ward, the slowest of the 24 drivers and former Indy Lights rival to Herta.
Both 45-minute practice sessions prepared teams for knockout qualifying, set to begin Friday at 4:35 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold. The race weekend will continue Saturday with warm-up 11:15 a.m. and the green flag at 3:50 p.m.