Rahal tops final IndyCar practice at Mid-Ohio

Graham Rahal
Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal edged out Josef Newgarden in morning practice at Mid Ohio. Will Power, Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon rounded out the top 5. Robert Wickens continues to figure out the course, and ran a solid 8th place.

Practice was stopped a couple of times, with the most notable event to pull Simon Pagenaud out of the tires. Red flags have been a common theme this weekend as teams struggle with the new car's lack of downforce. Sebastien Bourdais — 7th in this morning's practice — commented that his setup was great until something changed, such as an increase of a couple of degrees in track temp.

After that, life wasn't fun. Up and down pit road teams commented that it was difficult to find a setup whose sweet spot wasn't extremely narrow, and would allow their driver to race competitively as conditions changed.

Adding to the challenges is that Mid Ohio's pavement has to survive northern Ohio's winters, meaning that it now has bumps and patches. Not that a track should be pool table smooth, but bumps always present challenges. As Colin Chapman once commented, "Any suspension will work if you don't let it."

IndyCar specified 2 sets of tires this weekend that should be called, "Soft and softer". We had a chance to fondle a set of black tires this morning, and one can rub the rubber off of the things simply by rubbing your finger on the thing.

Tim Wohlford, reporting from Mid Ohio

Results

Pos No Name FTime Diff Gap Laps Engine Team
1 15 Graham Rahal 1:05.207 –.—- –.—- 19 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan
2 1 Josef Newgarden 1:05.247 0.0403 0.0403 17 Chevy Team Penske
3 12 Will Power 1:05.337 0.1300 0.0897 18 Chevy Team Penske
4 27 Alexander Rossi 1:05.386 0.1798 0.0498 14 Honda Andretti Autosport
5 9 Scott Dixon 1:05.455 0.2486 0.0688 13 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
6 22 Simon Pagenaud 1:05.457 0.2504 0.0018 14 Chevy Team Penske
7 18 Sebastien Bourdais 1:05.481 0.2738 0.0234 18 Honda Dale Coyne Racing with VS
8 6 Robert Wickens 1:05.669 0.4621 0.1883 15 Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
9 30 Takuma Sato 1:05.686 0.4788 0.0167 18 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan
10 26 Zach Veach 1:05.829 0.6225 0.1437 20 Honda Andretti Autosport
11 5 James Hinchcliffe 1:05.829 0.6227 0.0002 14 Honda Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
12 59 Max Chilton 1:05.863 0.6559 0.0332 21 Chevy Carlin
13 20 Jordan King 1:05.935 0.7283 0.0724 15 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
14 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:06.001 0.7941 0.0658 14 Honda Andretti Autosport
15 88 Conor Daly 1:06.071 0.8645 0.0704 17 Chevy Harding Racing
16 23 Charlie Kimball 1:06.105 0.8981 0.0336 18 Chevy Carlin
17 21 Spencer Pigot 1:06.113 0.9061 0.0080 14 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
18 14 Tony Kanaan 1:06.146 0.9395 0.0334 18 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
19 60 Jack Harvey 1:06.175 0.9679 0.0284 15 Honda Meyer Shank Racing with SPM
20 98 Marco Andretti 1:06.201 0.9942 0.0263 14 Honda Andretti Herta Autosport w/ CA
21 10 Ed Jones 1:06.255 1.0483 0.0541 14 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
22 4 Matheus Leist 1:06.390 1.1836 0.1353 9 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
23 19 Pietro Fittipaldi 1:06.891 1.6843 0.5007 13 Honda Dale Coyne Racing
24 32 Rene Binder 1:07.241 2.0343 0.3500 18 Chevy Juncos Racing

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