Herta in control on opening day of Sebring IndyCar test

Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

Herta in control on opening day of Sebring IndyCar test

IndyCar

Herta in control on opening day of Sebring IndyCar test

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Colton Herta and new Andretti Autosport teammate Romain Grosjean controlled the opening day of the final pre-season test for NTT IndyCar Series drivers at Sebring on Monday.

Grosjean led the field during the morning session, and few drivers took turns leading in the afternoon, but in the end it was Herta as one of only two drivers to crack the 52.0s barrier on Sebring’s short course who came out on top. Herta was just 0.007s faster than Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports rookie David Malukas, who leapt towards the top late in the session. Grosjean, who completed a 1-2-3 for Honda-powered drivers, was third in a tight cluster of drivers who posted laps between 52.0-52.3s

Elsewhere in the group, Felix Rosenqvist was quick throughout the day in his first test with Craig Hampson as his race engineer; Arrow McLaren SP teammate Pato O’Ward searched for a few missing tenths of a second. Indy Lights graduates Kyle Kirkwood and Devlin DeFrancesco showed pace, and Tatiana Calderon did as well as could be expected with limited IndyCar experience.

Rosenqvist looked strong first time out in his new Arrow McLaren SP colors. James Black/Penske Entertainment

Finally, Chip Ganassi Racing put Kevin Magnussen through an evaluation test where the ex-Formula 1 driver turned more than 100 laps in Alex Palou’s championship-winning car. Palou and his CGR teammates, along with Meyer Shank Racing and both Coyne entries are scheduled to complete the Sebring test on Tuesday.

AFTERNOON SESSION TIMES

(All times are unofficial, and do not account for the possible use of extra power from the push-to-pass system to improve laps times, missed beacons, or other timing irregularities or discrepancies.)

1. Colton Herta, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda, (51.851s)
2. David Malukas, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda, (51.858s)
3. Romain Grosjean, No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda, (52.021s)
4. Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske Chevy, (52.059s)
5. Will Power, No. 12 Team Penske Chevy, (52.211s)
6. Graham Rahal, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, (52.255s)
7. Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy, (52.281s)
8. Alexander Rossi, No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda, (52.297s)
9. Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Team Penske Chevy, (52.329s)
10. Jack Harvey, No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, (52.362s)
11. Christian Lundgaard, No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, (52.373s)
12. Kyle Kirkwood, No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevy, (52.389s)
13. Devlin DeFrancesco, No. 29 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Honda, (52.407s)
14. Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy, (52.424s)
15. Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevy, (52.481s)
16. Tatiana Calderon, No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevy, (52.540s)
17. Kevin Magnussen, No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, (52.839s)

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