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HomesportMcLaughlin leads St Petersburg training where Grosjean, Balo and Sato face trouble

McLaughlin leads St Petersburg training where Grosjean, Balo and Sato face trouble


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It was a chaotic morning of laps and big crashes during the second practice session of the Firestone Grand Prix on Sunday in Saint Petersburg. Between the red flags, Penske’s Scott McLaughlin climbed to pole position in the No. 3 Chevy as the New Zealander became the only driver to drop below the one minute mark (59.7342sec).

McLaughlin was quite off the field as the majority of the drivers came out late to do a qualifying simulation run on the faster red-banded Firestone tyres. Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta finished second (+0.3509 s) at his #26 Andretti Autosport Honda. Simon Pagenaud continued his fast start into the weekend with his new Meyer Shank Racing #60 Honda in third (+0.3511s) followed by Andretti’s Alexander Rossi in #27 Honda (+0.3733s), Penske’s Will Power in #12 Chevy (+0.4258) a second). Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay closed out the top six in his #21 Chevy (+0.4762s).

Behind VeeKay, the first unfortunate drivers were found seventh with Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing, who clipped the wall at Turn 9 and slammed hard—nearly nose first—destroying the left front corner of the No. 10 Honda. The CGR team was hitting hard to strip the corner and assess whether chassis damage had been incurred as qualification approached more than two hours after the practice session ended.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Jack Harvey had the same problem in the same corner and also took damage on a No. 45 Honda, but it wasn’t as bad as the Baloo effect. To open the session, CGR’s Jimmie Johnson did half a lap into Turn 1 and rolled across the turf, then with a group of drivers slowing and piling on entry into Turn 10 to try and get a clear qualifying sim lap, Andretti came Romain Grosjean in Turn 9 and – on what Seems unaware of the traffic jam – hit the rear of a Tacoma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda, which was lifted off the ground due to the speed and power it received.

Grosjean dig for repairs. Marshall Pruitt’s photo

Sato and Grosjean were completed after the accident, with Sato’s rear wing and other parts in disrepair as Grosjean limped into the pit lane, parked, and climbed out of the vehicle while his crew removed the broken nose assembly, front wing, and front left curved steering arm before moving the vehicle. to the carrier for repairs. Not all drivers were hurt.

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next one: Qualifiers, 12:30 p.m. ET

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