Alexander Rossi claimed the top spot in the Friday’s second IndyCar practice session around Detroit’s Belle Isle.
Rossi’s 1m15.1367s was more than 1.5s quicker than Scott Dixon’s benchmark time from the morning, and also left him a comfortable 0.5s ahead of closest challenger Josef Newgarden in the No. 2 Penske. However the scale of his advantage might have been distorted somewhat by a late red flag, which brought the session to an end a couple of minutes before schedule – and just as several teams had bolted on a set of the softer Firestones.
The culprit was Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, who tagged the wall on the outside of Turn 13 with his left-rear, knocking himself into a half-spin – which he did well to save – and breaking a toe-link. He still ended the afternoon inside the top 10.
That was the only moment of real consequence during the session, which ended with Dixon and Will Power third and fourth-fastest respectively, and Graham Rahal rounding out the top five.
Elsewhere, early session leader Zach Veach eventually settled back to finish 12th-fastest after a run that included some angry fist-waving in the direction of Pato O’Ward; the latter making his return this weekend after being relegated to the sidelines for the Indy 500. Just behind Veach was Colton Herta, who’d been reporting severe handling problems in the opening few minutes but managed to get the Harding Steinbrenner car working well enough to haul himself into the middle of the pack.
UP NEXT: Dual 1 Qualifying, Saturday, 10:45 E.T.