until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Barber IndyCar second practice – Everything you need to know

by Jack Benyon
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Alexander Rossi topped the second IndyCar practice session of the day at Barber Motorsports Park, as the last on-track running before today’s first qualifying session of 2021 proved a frantic affair.

It was an exciting session by practice standards, as a crash for likely title contender Colton Herta at Turn 1 with 20 minutes to go set up a 10 minute shootout of drivers going for rapid times.

That last 10 minutes was and is of vital importance to everyone, because it’s the first time this year the drivers were able to bolt on the softer compound, red-walled tyres which aren’t available in testing and are used at the climax of qualifying.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou – fastest in FP1 – topped the drivers who came out immediately after the Herta car was cleared, and his time held up until a couple of minutes from the end when Josef Newgarden encountered drama.

Newgarden – who disconnected his steering wheel and was almost crashed in the first practice session – got overboost coming out of the final corner. He saved it, but the car shut off and he had to stop and do a reset. He had to settle for 14th fastest in the end.

That cost reigning champion Scott Dixon and Rossi in particular, as they elected to wait after the Herta incident to do their running on the soft tyre later.

Both of those drivers still got a lap in at the end and Dixon went to the top of the board, but he was bested by Rossi and his Ganassi team-mate Marcus Ericsson in the last breathless couple of laps.

Behind Rossi, Ericsson and Dixon, Palou made it three Ganassi cars in a row as he took fourth, ahead of the team’s former driver Felix Rosenqvist – who recovered from crashing in the pits in practice one to go fifth for new employer Arrow McLaren SP.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones was a constant in the top 10 and took sixth ahead of Rosenqvist’s team-mate Pato O’Ward, who encountered traffic on his fastest lap.

Will Power had a moment in the grass on his final effort and had to settle for eighth as Penske’s top driver, ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly and Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey.

Scott McLaughlin was once again the fastest rookie of this year’s impressive class in 12th, although he got some experience of the red tyre in his one-off outing at the end of last season at St Petersburg.

Romain Grosjean was the first driver into the 1m06s in the session on the harder tyre and was only narrowly beat by Herta early on, and was the fastest rookie new to the soft tyre in 17th.

For the second session in a row, Jimmie Johnson was 24th and last 1.8s off the pace. This was his first exploratory mission on the red tyres.

The top 10 drivers all beat Sebastien Bourdais’s circuit qualifying record, which has stood since 2016.

The first 17 cars, up to Grosjean, were within eight tenths of the fastest lap.

Practice 2 Results

Pos Name Team Car Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1m06.079s
2 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda +0.14s +0.14s 1m06.219s
3 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda +0.082s +0.222s 1m06.301s
4 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda +0.019s +0.241s 1m06.32s
5 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet +0.074s +0.315s 1m06.394s
6 Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda +0.08s +0.395s 1m06.474s
7 Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet +0.041s +0.436s 1m06.515s
8 Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet +0.008s +0.444s 1m06.523s
9 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet +0.036s +0.48s 1m06.559s
10 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda +0.03s +0.51s 1m06.589s
11 Sébastien Bourdais A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet +0.033s +0.543s 1m06.622s
12 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Chevrolet +0.042s +0.585s 1m06.664s
13 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda +0.015s +0.6s 1m06.679s
14 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet +0.037s +0.637s 1m06.716s
15 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda +0.039s +0.676s 1m06.755s
16 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda +0.033s +0.709s 1m06.788s
17 Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda +0.068s +0.777s 1m06.856s
18 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet +0.241s +1.018s 1m07.097s
19 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet +0.002s +1.02s 1m07.099s
20 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda +0.177s +1.197s 1m07.276s
21 Max Chilton Carlin Chevrolet +0.028s +1.225s 1m07.304s
22 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet +0.16s +1.385s 1m07.464s
23 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda +0.004s +1.389s 1m07.468s
24 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda +0.414s +1.803s 1m07.882s
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