Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Oliver Askew in the No.45 HyVee Honda set the sixth fastest time in the opening practice session ahead of Sunday’s penultimate race of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca setting a time of 91:12.1516s and speaking following the action he said:
First session out here at Laguna Seca, and my first time here in an Indy car. My last time I was here was in 2019 with Indy Lights. It’s fantastic to be back, it’s a super tricky circuit but very enjoyable when you get it right and it felt good today, ended up P6 in practice. It’s going to be important for us to build on that in practice 2 tomorrow and ultimately qualifying tomorrow afternoon. Our Hy-Vee Honda felt good today and we will see what happens tomorrow.
Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda was 17th fastest with a time of 01:12.8486s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
One practice in the books at Laguna Seca. We waited quite a while to go run and just missed it on the first tire set. I was in a lot of traffic, a lot of people were and unfortunately that traffic just kind of – on the good laps I missed the tire so by the time I went it was just too late. My fastest lap was also quite sloppy. Going through the corkscrew I had a huge moment and lost two to three tenths (of a second) in the exit there which cost me a lot. It is what it is, we’re not quite good enough here this weekend so far. We’ll put our heads down tonight and try and come up with some new ideas and go back at it tomorrow. I know with Oliver’s car they ran two sets of tires and it seemed like his second set was a lot better pace wise, much more competitive, so we are going to look at what they’re doing and hopefully get the United Rentals car up front
Takuma Sato in the No.30 Panasonic MiJack Honda was 19th with a time of 01:12.9923s and speaking following the action he said:
I’m very happy to be back in Laguna Seca — a fan favorite. I think we all really enjoy this challenging track. I missed the test so today was a little more challenging – only 10 laps I think. Tire degradation was quite big so you had to do it (your fast lap) within four laps. But at least we did a run on a Friday which for a long time we didn’t have it since some of the street courses so it’s really nice to get the three cars’ data tonight and go through all the analysis and get back tomorrow feeling better. I generally feel very positive and hopefully we have a stronger day tomorrow