Two-time Portland International Raceway winner Sebastien Bourdais had a blast from the past when he leapt to the top of the timesheet during NTT IndyCar Series practice at the venue moments before ending up in the tire barrier — just as he did in Practice 1 when the series returned to the track in 2018.
Bourdais took over atop the running order from Will Power with a lap of 57.9213 seconds around the 1.964-mile, 12-turn permanent road course north of Portland but nosed into the Turn 12 tire barrier soon thereafter. The up-and-down series of events may be a good omen as Bourdais landed on the podium two days after experiencing the same thing last year.
Power’s 57.9502 ranked him second fastest and the quickest of three Chevrolet-backed drivers in the top 10, increasing the marque’s representation in the group by two over Friday morning’s session. Rookies Felix Rosenqvist and Colton Herta placed third and fourth ahead of championship leader Josef Newgarden in fifth.
Additional title challengers Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud set the sixth- and seventh-fastest laps while Jack Harvey, James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato completed the top 10.
Less than a half second separated Bourdais from Marco Andretti in 13th and the entire 23-driver field ended the session with less than a second of separation.
Bourdais’ session-ending crash was the only incident to bring out a red flag but multiple drivers tested track limits as they prepared for Saturday afternoon’s knockout qualifying.
Following a 30-minute “warm-up” and pit stop practice session Friday at 5:40 p.m. EDT, on-track action will resume Saturday morning with Practice 3 set for 1 p.m.