Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet was the pacesetter on Thursday as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on track action got underway at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Australian led the field test with a time of 01:07.2762s on the newly repaved circuit.
Speaking following the action he said:
Very nice, very smooth. “A lot of grip. Yeah, it’s incredibly fast. Yeah, it will be a mid-six (1:06.5) in quali by the time it’s all said and done. Rubber down, mid-six.
Speaking to Paddock Eye following the action about the repave, Power said:
Yeah, very, very different. Obviously traction is not a thing any more. Deg is not a thing any more. Much higher grip.
Yeah, quite a different setup.
It was a great session for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard who was second fastest with a time of 01:07.3089s.
Scott McLaughlin was third fastest just ahead of Juri Vips who was extremely impressive setting a 01:07.6366s with Marcus Ericsson in fifth for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Alexander Rossi was sixth and speaking to Paddock Eye following the action about the importance of hitting the ground running he said:
Yeah, man, super important. It certainly changed your approach to the car setup philosophy. Previously here you were always concerned about tire deg and trying to improve that through a stint. For the most part that seems to have gone out the window.
Pato O’Ward was seventh just ahead of Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood while Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda rounded out the top ten with a time of 01:07.7455s.
Graham Rahal was 11th just ahead of newly crowned NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay.
Santino Ferrucci was 14th fastest in the No.14 Sexton Properties AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.
Josef Newgarden was 15th just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean and David Malukas who, is expected to be confirmed as an Arrow McLaren driver on Friday.
Colton Herta was 18th just ahead of Marcus Armstrong and Agustin Canapino who rounded out the top 20 for Juncos Hollinger Racing.
Devlin DeFrancesco was was 21st just ahead of Benjamin Pedersen and Callum Ilott.
Tom Blomqvist was 24th fastest just ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sting Ray Robb while Helio Castroneves rounded put the order in 27th.