Rosenqvist tops opening Barber practice

Image by Scott LePage/LAT

Rosenqvist tops opening Barber practice

IndyCar

Rosenqvist tops opening Barber practice

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Felix Rosenqvist topped the times in a messy opening practice session for this weekend’s NTT Data IndyCar Series round at Barber.

The Swede stopped the clock at 1m09.2296s in the No.10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to secure P1 on a morning when most of the veterans opted to wait out the opening phase of the session, and were then bitten by a sequence of red flags that limited the amount of meaningful running in the last 15 minutes.

“Only improved 0.2 on the second set [of Firestones] so I don’t know how much it helped,” said Rosenqvist. “It was a bit of a mess out there; not too much of a clean run. The baseline felt good, better then when I tested here a few months ago. It felt good for a start [to the weekend], definitely.”

Foyt’s Matheus Leist was the first to get into trouble when the rear of his car stepped out and swung him into the wall at the exit of Turn 6, tearing off the front wing. That brought the reds out with 20 minutes to go, and drivers were just beginning to get back up to speed after the restart when Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan and James Hinchcliffe spun almost simultaneously on different parts of the track, triggering another stoppage.

Sebastien Bourdais managed to string together eight laps and finish up second fastest, just 0.04s down on Rosenqvist’s time, leaving James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay to round out the top five.

UP NEXT: Practice 2, 3:50 p.m. ET

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