Pato O’Ward led the final practice session ahead of Qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Saturday, with the Mexican getting the better of Friday’s pacesetter Josef Newgarden.
O’Ward, one of only two drivers to have won twice during the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, set a best lap of 1:06.0911 to lead the way for the Chevrolet-powered Arrow McLaren SP team, although he was only 0.0082 seconds ahead of Team Penske’s Newgarden.
Colton Herta was third for Andretti Autosport, just 0.0928 seconds off the pace as the top twenty-one cars of the twenty-six cars racing this weekend were within a second of O’Ward’s best time.
Fourth went the way of Graham Rahal of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, 0.2437 seconds off O’Ward’s best, while fifth was Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, just ahead of Team Penske duo Will Power and Scott McLaughlin, the latter the first of the rookies in the field.
Jack Harvey, who will be looking to get his season back on track after a torrid run of bad luck and bad results since the Indianapolis 500 in May, was eighth fastest, while Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon was only ninth, just ahead of Arrow McLaren’s returning driver Felix Rosenqvist.
Dixon and Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi both had off-track moments at turn four, while Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton and the fourth Penske of Simon Pagenaud had moments of their own at turn one.
Romain Grosjean missed out on the top ten by just 0.0218 seconds for Dale Coyne Racing, while championship leader Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing was down in twelfth, 0.6759 seconds off the pace but ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay.
Debutant Ryan Norman of Dale Coyne Racing was down in twenty-fifth, ahead only of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson, with the former NASCAR champion again struggling compared to the rest of the field, 2.1941 seconds off the outright pace of O’Ward and seven-tenths of a second back on Norman.
Mid-Ohio Free Practice 2 Result
|1||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||1:06.0911||22|
|2||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||+0.0082||19|
|3||26||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Autosport||+0.0928||20|
|4||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+0.2437||22|
|5||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||+0.2746||24|
|6||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||+0.3032||23|
|7||3||Scott McLaughlin||NZL||Team Penske||+0.3453||26|
|8||60||Jack Harvey||GBR||Meyer Shank Racing||+0.4044||19|
|9||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||+0.5044||24|
|10||7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Arrow McLaren SP||+0.5904||19|
|11||51||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing||+0.6122||18|
|12||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Chip Ganassi Racing||+0.6759||23|
|13||21||Rinus VeeKay||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||+0.7002||23|
|14||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||+0.7358||19|
|15||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||+0.7639||26|
|16||14||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+0.7784||23|
|17||29||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Andretti Autosport||+0.8679||21|
|18||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||+0.8716||25|
|19||18||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||+0.9547||16|
|21||45||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+0.9918||21|
|22||30||Takuma Sato||JAP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+1.2539||26|
|23||20||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+1.2956||21|
|24||4||Dalton Kellett||CAN||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+1.3773||25|
|25||52||Ryan Norman||USA||Dale Coyne Racing||+1.4009||21|
|26||48||Jimmie Johnson||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+2.1941||26|