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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Herta quickest from Canapino, as engine points spark issues

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Herta, the present factors chief within the IndyCar Sequence championship, delivered flying lap of 1m09.2863s on a set of softer alternates to set the quickest time on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile, 14-turn highway course structure.

The short lap set by Herta got here with lower than three minutes remaining within the 75-minute observe, bumping the feel-good story of Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino from the highest spot by 0.0850s.

Team Penske’s Will Power, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay and Andretti World’s Marcus Ericsson rounded out the remainder of the highest 5.

After setting the preliminary quickest time within the early working, with a lap of 1m09.8152s on a set of more durable main rubber, Josef Newgarden introduced out the primary purple flag after his No. 2 Workforce Penske Chevrolet spun and stalled in Flip 14 within the opening quarter-hour.

One other purple flag got here returned 10 minutes later after Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda stopped on monitor close to the pit exit; he reported “one thing isn’t proper… it’s letting go” over the radio earlier than being towed again to the storage space.

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Shortly after the session resumed, an enormous plume of smoke erupted on pit lane with 45 minutes left within the session because the rear finish of Marcus Armstrong’s No. 11 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was on fireplace. Like Rahal’s, it was a model new engine for this occasion.

“I felt a little bit of a vibration,” Armstrong mentioned. “They did not see something on the information, however you recognize when there’s one thing not proper, so I simply boxed.

“I believe we might have saved it. If I stored going, we would not have had a hearth extinguisher or something on the market.”

Rahal offered his perspective on his engine issues shortly after Armstrong’s evaluation.

“Yeah, I believe I simply caught it earlier than him frankly as a result of I heard it popping out of (Flip) 13 immediately,” Rahal mentioned. “I did like one up shift and I simply, I clutched immediately as a result of I might inform. However we’ll see. These are new engines. We’ve obtained to see what the problems are.”

Armstrong’s crew elected for an engine change earlier than the top of observe, with Rahal’s crew mulling on doing the identical.

As soon as the cloud of smoke settled on pit highway and the session continued, it was VeeKay that vaulted to first with 26 minutes to go together with a 1m09.7872s lap to dethrone Newgarden on a set of primaries.

Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward then outfitted a set of softer alternates and went P1 with 14 minutes to go together with a 1m09.7199s lap.

The flood of occasions started to come back in because the softer alternates noticed a rotation of the highest spot because the likes of Scott McLaughlin, VeeKay, Energy and Canapino went quickest earlier than Herta settled it within the closing moments.

To spherical out the engine points, the Chevrolet in Theo Pourchaire’s Arrow McLaren entry additionally appeared to run out within the closing moments, inflicting him to drag off the monitor.

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