Rookie drivers Santino Ferrucci and Marcus Ericsson finished atop the field of 22 in the first outing of the NTT IndyCar Series’ 2019 visit to the renamed World Wide Technology Raceway.
Nearing the end of his first full-time season with Dale Coyne Racing, Ferrucci turned a 184.804 mph lap on his 58th of 59 total tours of the 1.25-mile oval to surge to the forefront of the field. That speed put the Connecticut native just 0.0366 seconds clear of fellow rookie Ericsson and gave him his first top lap in an IndyCar session.
Ericsson turned 12 fewer laps than Ferrucci in the only pre-qualifying practice but kept Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais at bay in the top five in his first race-weekend session at the venue. Ending with Bourdais in fifth, this group was split by just 0.0782 seconds.
The remarkably competitive session saw veterans Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay fill positions six through nine, followed by Felix Rosenqvist — a third rookie in the top 10. Less than three-tenths of a second separated Ferrucci from Rosenqvist.
Beyond Dixon, Newgarden and Rossi near the top of the timesheet, fourth championship hopeful Simon Pagenaud was 14th at 0.3288 seconds off Ferrucci.
Scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. EDT Friday with live coverage on NBCSN, qualifying is next on the schedule for IndyCar’s two-day weekend in the St. Louis area. After the grid is set for Saturday’s race, a nighttime practice will run from 9:15–10:15 p.m. EDT to conclude Friday.