David Malukas was the primary driver to show a 70-second lap, turning a 70.3589s for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD, earlier than bettering to a 68.4831s, a median of 118.698mph across the 2.238-mile course in Lexington, OH.
His fellow rookies have been out on observe with him at this early stage, benefiting from the additional set of main tyres equipped by Firestone. They have been joined by Simona De Silvestro of Paretta Autosport, Jimmie Johnson within the #48 Chip Ganassi automotive and Dalton Kellett of AJ Foyt Racing.
Devlin De Francesco of Andretti Autosport bought closest to Malukas, albeit zero.7s away, by the point they pitted.
Then among the veterans got here out and began creeping up the order, with five-time Mid-Ohio polesitter Will Energy of Group Penske the primary of the drivers to affix Malukas within the 68s bracket, earlier than lastly displacing him from the highest along with his sixth lap – a 68.3743s (118.887mph).
At that time, Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean (each Andretti) and Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing) have been into the highest 5, after which Pato O’Ward sprung as much as third in one other Arrow McLaren SP entry, having turned the quickest time within the first sector.
Takuma Sato (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR) had simply began his fourth lap, when he had a really dramatic-looking journey throughout the sandtrap at Flip 1, bringing out the pink flag.
In sizzling and humid situations, the observe continued to evolve as extra rubber went down, and 2021 Mid-Ohio winner Newgarden moved into the highest slot with a 68.0778s lap on his 11th tour, simply forward of Ganassi’s defending champion Palou (12th lap) and Penske’s IndyCar sophomore Scott McLaughlin in third along with his 10th lap.
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Autograph Session
Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
Barber Motorsports Park polesitter Rinus VeeKay moved into fifth for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Johnson, Malukas, De Silvestro and Tatiana Calderon of AJ Foyt Racing have been the primary to strap on Firestone alternate tyres. All drivers had entry to 1 set of reds to simulate qualifying runs and check out the lifetime of this softer rubber, earlier than handing them again to Firestone on the finish of the session.
Malukas was the primary to make this variation depend, with 67.5361s, a median of 120.362mph, however was then usurped by Palou who produced a 67.2610s, with Rossi third and VeeKay fourth.
O’Ward’s first actual flyer on reds moved him as much as second however was nonetheless a quarter-second wanting Palou in high spot, however Newgarden appeared to haven’t any downside in delivering a 67.0549s, two tenths away from his nearest opposition, a median of 121.226mph.
Palou’s team-mate and championship chief Marcus Ericsson slipped into third seven minutes earlier than the tip of the session, simply forward of Colton Herta.
One other Swede, Felix Rosenqvist of AMSP, pushed Ericsson out of the highest three, whereas one of many late converts from blacks to reds, Energy, couldn’t discover a clear lap whereas his tyres have been at their greatest, and completed up 14th.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing workforce gave the impression to be struggling, Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard ending the session in 20th, 22nd and 24th respectively.
De Silvestro confirmed notable enchancment in her exploitation of the tender tyres, ending up 1.87s off high spot, three quarters of a second sooner than Calderon and zero.9s forward of Johnson.