Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta who finished second in Friday practice at Laguna Seca says that tire drop-off was the biggest issue that he faced during the 45 minute session. Speaking to Paddock Eye following the action, the defending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey winner said:
I don’t think the track was terrible. I think the tire dropoff was the main problem. First session, so the track is a little green.
IMSA here last weekend put a lot of rubber down. Indy Lights before. Whatever else was on track before us. Quite a bit has run in the last two weekends.
I don’t think the track was terrible. I just think the dropoff is tricky here. The more rubber goes down, the better the tire wear will be and stuff like that.
Speaking following the action where he set a 01:11.7927s Herta said:
I think it’s tough to do a 45-minute session on one set of tires, so we were waiting for most of the day – kind of waiting to see what kind of lap times other guys were doing. Compared to when we tested, the track is a lot better. It was quite nice. The car felt a little different from the test for me, so I think we have some adjustments to make to get back into the window. But, we’re right there and it’s a great start to be P2.”
Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda set the fifth fastest time of the day with a 01:12.0625s and speaking following his time in the car the Californian said:
“Great to be back at Laguna. It’s already been a pretty good turnout for Friday with fans here, so that’s exciting. It was a decent first session, I think – similar to the test, so I think we will not have a lot of questions to answer tonight. The car was pretty much where we expected it to be. We’ll look at some things and come back tomorrow to hopefully have a good day and start up front.”
Jame Hinchcliffe in the No.29 Genesys Honda set the seventh fastest time of the day with a 01:12.1885s and speaking following the action he said:
“A decent start here for us at WeatherTech Raceway. We were able to test here back in July, so it’s nice to be able to roll off the truck with a decent baseline and having had some laps. That said, these 45-minute practice sessions go by so quickly, so it’s nice to have the Genesys car in the top 10. We had to do an extra set of tires because we had an issue on the first set there. That might put us on the back foot for tomorrow in practice, but it’s nice to at least have practice tomorrow before we go into qualifying. Hopefully we can keep up pace and stay on the sharp end.”
Ryan Hunter Reay who is about to start his penultimate race for Andretti Autosport was 22nd with a 01:13.1024s and speaking following the session he said:
“Practice one is in the books. Unfortunately we had some braking issues – locked up the left front and absolutely smoked it. Our plan was only to use one set of tires in this short, 45-minute practice today. It was kind of over before it started. But the good news is we have a day two and a day three. Day two practice coming up, and then qualifying. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get things right for that and put a good qualifying effort forward.”