Felix Rosenqvist joined Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay as a driver to set the fastest lap in an NTT IndyCar Series practice session at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 2019 as preparations continued Saturday morning for the season finale.
While it put the No. 10 NTT Data Honda atop the running order in the pre-qualifying practice outing, the 1:10.4065 lap Rosenqvist executed to pace Practice 3 was not the fastest of the weekend, nor the fastest from the Swede. Hunter-Reay and Rosenqvist were first and second in Friday’s Practice 2 at half a second quicker than Rosenqvist’s Practice 3-leading time.
To lead the third practice, Rosenqvist had to keep all three Chevrolet-powered Team Penske entries behind. He did so by a margin of 0.1823 seconds over championship points leader Josef Newgarden, who joined fellow Penske pilots Will Power and Simon Pagenaud in filling positions two through four.
Takuma Sato, confirmed before the start of Saturday’s on-track activity to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2020, placed fifth with a 1:10.7109 to create a gap of three-tenths of a second from his Honda to Rosenqvist’s.
Max Chilton, Herta, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Alexander Rossi comprised the remainder of a top 10 that was split by 0.4673 seconds.
After showing speed Friday, Hunter-Reay was 18th in Practice 3, 0.8361 seconds slower than Rosenqvist on their respective quickest tours of the returning IndyCar venue entering qualifying.
Knockout qualifying, culminating in the final Firestone Fast Six of 2019, will set the grid for Sunday’s 90-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey beginning at 1:30 p.m. PDT. NBCSN will show qualifying live beginning at the same time (4:30 p.m. EDT).