Stats: Warmup Results
Alexander Rossi led the morning warmup for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday morning in very different conditions than the first two days of this event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Rossi’s best time was 1 minute, 12.8632 seconds in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda in foggy, misty conditions and 61-degree air temperatures, a marked contrast from the bright sunshine and warmer temperatures of Friday and Saturday on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. Rossi is starting second in today’s race.
The “marine layer” of fog is a common morning occurrence along the Pacific coast in Northern California, but an emerging sun is expected to burn away the cloud cover and mist in time for the 95-lap race, which starts at 3 p.m. (ET) on NBC, Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
NTT P1 Award winner Colton Herta was second quickest at 1:12.9651 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda as Andretti Autosport drivers took three of the top four spots in the 30-minute session.
Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was third at 1:13.3539 in the No. 30 Panasonic/Mi-Jack Honda despite an off-track excursion early in the session. 2012 series champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was the third Andretti Autosport driver in the top four, with his best lap of 1:13.4673 in the No. 28 DHL Honda.
Marcus Ericsson was the quickest of the five championship contenders, fifth at 1:13.4940 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Other title contenders’ practice results: two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, sixth, 1:13.6180 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet; championship leader Alex Palou, ninth, 1:13.7181 in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda; six-time series champion Scott Dixon, 15th, 1:14.1460 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda; Pato O’Ward, 21st, 1:14.4486 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
A handful of drivers went off-track during the warmup on the demanding circuit, but only one “off” triggered a red flag. Rookie Callum Ilott spun off into the tire barrier in Turn 6 in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Ilott was unhurt, and the red flag period lasted eight minutes.