Alex Palou. Image courtesy of Penske Entertainment

IndyCar News: Palou not Herta tops opening practice for Detroit GP (Update)

Correction – there was an extra session¬† as part of Practice 1 and both Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward pipped Colton Herta for fast time overall.

The Detroit GP Practice 1 Results Table below has been updated.

Palou opened his defense of his Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear victory last year by leading the first practice for this year’s event Friday with a top lap of 1 minute, 1.7210 seconds in the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Palou will aim for his second consecutive pole on the nine-turn, 1.645-mile circuit on washboard city streets.

‚ÄúIt was busy,‚ÄĚ Palou said. ‚ÄúI visited the run-off areas a couple of times here and there, just trying to find the limit and the grip of the track. The track is grippier, a lot grippier, than last year. Pretty happy. The car feels good so far.‚ÄĚ

Wall contact by Jack Harvey forced a red flag with less than 15 minutes left in the session. Harvey clipped the left-side barrier in Turn 7, careening across the track and hitting the right-side barrier before his No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda stopped between Turns 7 and 8. Harvey was unhurt


May 31, 2024 

Andretti Honda IndyCar driver Colton Herta turned a lap of 1m02.0219s to top opening practice for the 2024 Detroit GP on the downtown streets.

Herta’s fastest lap was a blazing 95.482 mph as the heavy IndyCars lumber around the city streets

Team Penske Chevy veteran Will Power was 2nd, 0.4255s behind Herta.

Another Team Penske driver, Scott McLaughlin, who sat on the pole for the Indy 500 was third, 0.4626s back.

Christian Lundgaard was 4th for the Rahal team and Ganassi ace Alex Palou rounded out the top-5

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin            Photo courtesy of  Penske Entertainment by Chris Owens

The Indy 500 Pole sitter was asked what he thought about the Detroit circuit after some repaving was made right before turn 3 to allow for a better passing opportunity and some guardrails were added in some corners to protect the cars better.

“It is very bumpy track but I think it has character. You can do a couple little things, softening or what not. Ultimately there’s a point where it hurts the balance trying to set up for the bumps. You just got to deal with them. It’s not a billiard table, absolutely not. It’s Detroit streets. We just enjoy it.”

“The last corner coming out of the pit straight. Really, really good. I think there’s a lot of great improvements. Off the long back straight, it’s a lot smoother there. Bumpy down Jefferson Ave. Once it gets to the point they resurface, they resurface a thousand feet or something like that, which is amazing.”

“Yeah, I think there’s been a lot of really good improvements from this time last year to now. So yeah, I think they’ve done a really good job.”

Colton Herta

Colton Herta            Photo courtesy of Penske Entertainment: Paul Hurley

Autoracing1 spoke with Colton Herta to see what he felt about the track changes.  The American also thought the bumps gave the track character.

“Last year, the bumps hurt the racing so we only used one line so you would avoid the bumps.¬† That was so bad.¬† Hopefully this has been changed to make racing better.”

“I have never seen so many manhole covers in a row.¬† They are everywhere. It is mostly only on the backstretch.”

“Putting some more of the guard rails on the inside of the corners help, because we slap the walls a lot, more than people realize.¬† You are kinda chipping away at the wall and eventually it will get to a point where is grabs the rim out of the tire.”

Detroit GP Practice 1 Results

Pos No Name Time Behind Gap FL Laps Speed Engine Team
1 10 Alex Palou 1:01.7210 0.000s 0.000s 31 31 95.948 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
2 5 Pato¬†O’Ward 1:01.7315 0.0105 0.0105 25 30 95.932 Chevy Arrow¬†McLaren
3 26 Colton¬†Herta 1:01.7968 0.0758 0.0653 31 31 95.830 Honda Andretti¬†Global¬†w/Curb‚ÄĎAgajanian
4 27 Kyle Kirkwood 1:01.8103 0.0893 0.0135 19 20 95.809 Honda Andretti Global
5 3 Scott McLaughlin 1:02.0959 0.3749 0.2856 32 33 95.369 Chevy Team Penske
6 2 Josef Newgarden 1:02.2377 0.5167 0.1418 31 32 95.151 Chevy Team Penske
7 14 Santino Ferrucci 1:02.3277 0.6067 0.0900 32 32 95.014 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
8 11 Marcus Armstrong 1:02.4307 0.7097 0.1030 23 30 94.857 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
9 12 Will Power 1:02.4474 0.7264 0.0167 16 30 94.832 Chevy Team Penske
10 45 Christian Lundgaard 1:02.4726 0.7516 0.0252 30 31 94.794 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
11 78 Agustin Canapino 1:02.5693 0.8483 0.0967 30 31 94.647 Chevy Juncos Hollinger Racing
12 9 Scott Dixon 1:02.7007 0.9797 0.1314 26 26 94.449 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
13 15 Graham Rahal 1:02.7235 1.0025 0.0228 35 35 94.414 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
14 28 Marcus Ericsson 1:02.7515 1.0305 0.0280 22 34 94.372 Honda Andretti Global
15 7 Alexander Rossi 1:02.8537 1.1327 0.1022 30 30 94.219 Chevy Arrow McLaren
16 60 Felix Rosenqvist 1:02.9030 1.1820 0.0493 30 30 94.145 Honda Meyer Shank Racing
17 30 Pietro Fittipaldi 1:02.9237 1.2027 0.0207 34 34 94.114 Honda Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
18 20 Christian Rasmussen 1:02.9473 1.2263 0.0236 38 38 94.079 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
19 77 Romain Grosjean 1:03.0225 1.3015 0.0752 28 29 93.966 Chevy Juncos Hollinger Racing
20 6 Theo Pourchaire 1:03.1142 1.3932 0.0917 30 39 93.830 Chevy Arrow McLaren
21 4 Kyffin Simpson 1:03.1501 1.4291 0.0359 42 42 93.777 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
22 66 Helio Castroneves 1:03.2331 1.5121 0.0830 30 30 93.653 Honda Meyer Shank Racing
23 21 Rinus VeeKay 1:03.3195 1.5985 0.0864 34 34 93.526 Chevy Ed Carpenter Racing
24 41 Sting Ray Robb 1:03.4996 1.7786 0.1801 14 30 93.260 Chevy AJ Foyt Enterprises
25 8 Linus Lundqvist 1:03.5764 1.8554 0.0768 19 40 93.148 Honda Chip Ganassi Racing
26 18 Jack Harvey 1:04.2658 2.5448 0.6894 11 25 92.149 Honda Dale Coyne Racing
27 51 Tristan Vautier 1:04.6214 2.9004 0.3556 23 34 91.641 Honda Dale Coyne Racing

 

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