Guerrieri tops Indy Lights practice
Esteban Guerrieri joked that he was first and last on the Timing & Scoring sheet for the lone Firestone Indy Lights practice session.
It was an anomaly. Guerrieri was quickest in the 60-minute session with a lap of 1 minute, 15.6670 seconds in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car - filling the seat of teammate Conor Daly, who was traveling from Europe. It was fortuitous for the young Argentinean.
"I had a mechanical issue with the (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports) car," said Guerrieri, who has started on the front row in both of the races this season. "The driveshaft broke so I only did one lap. Unfortunately, my teammate isn't here because of his GP3 commitments, so his car was available. I had to know the track and it was useful for the team because his car needed to be shaken down."
Daly is expected at the venue in time for the 45-minute session that precedes the hour-long qualifying April 16.
||Juan Pablo Garcia
ESTEBAN GUERRIERI (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, fastest of the day in #77 Mazda Road to Indy car): "That's funny that I was first and 17th in the session and I had two positions on the (timing screen). I had a mechanical issue with the (No. 7) car. The driveshaft broke so I only did one lap. Unfortunately, my teammate (Conor Daly) isn't here, because of his GP3 commitments, so his car was available. I had to know the track and it was useful for the team because his car needed to be shaken down. We went out and put some laps together to get familiar with everything and in the end we were first." (Will you talk to Conor about trading cars): "No, no. All the cars are the same. It was good to shake it down for the (77) team and for me. It was a good 10 laps and now we have information for tomorrow."
JAMES WINSLOW (No. 26 Andretti Autosport, second fastest): "We had a good session today. We ran on old tires so I am very pleased to be the second fastest in the practice session. I feel like we still had a lot left in the car. The team did a fantastic job and the car is really good this weekend. I am hoping that I can turn this into a good result for tomorrow's qualifying.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 11 Robo-Pong Sam Schmidt Motorsports, fourth-fastest): "With all the different types of cars and tires out there today, I was actually surprised how good the track is today. It wasn't too slick and actually really good for our first practice session. And it's only going to get better throughout the weekend. I expect it to rubber in even more and in a good way. I don't think we'll be playing around with any funky rubber this weekend. It's great to finally drive on the Long Beach track, but it is very hairy. It's a difficult course to be on the limit at, much more difficult than St. Petersburg in my opinion because you are carrying a lot more speed through the mid corners and that adds a lot more danger to it. With those higher speeds, you really need to be in control of the car. But its' great. It's a really, really fun course. I'm enjoying it."