Pato O’Ward put himself firmly in contention for his second IndyCar pole at Road America after setting the fastest time of the second Practice session.
The final Practice session before Qualifying took place in glorious sunshine as Road America basked in the traditional early summer sunshine making this race a fan favorite.
Conor Daly led the times during the session’s opening salvo with a 1:47.7975 before the Dale Coyne pair of David Malukas and Takuma Sato took over at the front with a pair of 1:46s until Daly moved back to the top with a 1:46.5240. Road America newcomers Christian Lundgaard and Callum Ilott got their Practice sessions off to a positive start with fourth and fifth fastest, respectively, with the Dane over a tenth quicker than his former Formula 2 rival.
Alex Rossi’s session got off to a dreadful start as yesterday’s pacesetter suffered a clutch issue consigning him to his pit box for a chunk of the session’s opening minutes as his Andretti Autosport team furiously tried to fix the problem.
There were no such problems for Alex Palou, who moved to the front of the times after a quarter of an hour of the session had gone with a 1:45.4062, over a second faster than Daly and Helio Castroneves. However, Daly couldn’t stay in second for too long as O’Ward slotted behind Palou after banking a 1:45.8145 whilst Romain Grosjean moved into third after setting a 1:46.0022.
IndyCar returnee Simona De Silvestro had an upbeat start to practice 2 as she managed to get a solid amount of track time, completing seven laps and running as high as 21st over three tenths quicker than series regular Tatiana Calderon.
At just over halfway, Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson briefly made it in a Chip Ganassi 1-2 as he managed a 1:45.8079 before Josef Newgarden vaulted to second as he broke into the 1:45s albeit over a tenth down on Palou.
Next to take over at the head of the timesheets was Will Power, who managed to end Palou’s reign at the front after finding over two-tenths on his next run. Meanwhile, Rossi made up for lost time with the third-fastest time of 1:45.5576.
But in the session’s final minutes, O’Ward took over at the front after managing a 1:45.2681. Power was second quickest whilst Palou was the best of the Honda runners in third ahead of Rossi, Newgarden and Colton Herta.
Ericsson finished seventh fastest ahead of Grosjean, Scott McLaughlin and Scott Dixon, who rounded off the top 10.