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Iowa newcomer McLaughlin leads 19-car IndyCar test

The three-time Supercars champion, who opened his second season of IndyCar racing with a win at St. Petersburg, has not yet had a chance to race at the 0.894-mile D-shaped oval track near Des Moines, since the event fell off the 2021 schedule, his rookie year.

But a best lap of 18.5375sec in the 220 laps McLaughlin ran in today’s test was an average speed of 173.61mph and made him a hair quicker than teammate Will Power, who turned an impressive 282 laps.

Takuma Sato showed similar form in the Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing-Honda as was seen from the combo this year at Texas Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while top rookie honors went to Christian Lundgaard in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda.

Josef Newgarden, who has won at Iowa three times, was fifth ahead of Pato O’Ward in the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy.

Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson was fastest of the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda quartet ahead of Graham Rahal (RLL), while four-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves, who scored his final IndyCar win with Penske at Iowa Speedway five years ago, was ninth.

Although Andretti Autosport-Honda was notable by its absence, Michael Andretti’s squad has a technical partnership with MSR so will glean useful data from the 214 lap total accrued by Castroneves and teammate Simon Pagenaud. The Iowa test is seen as particularly important, given that its return this year sees it featuring as the only double-header on the IndyCar schedule, on July 23 and 24, as Rounds 11 and 12.

Meanwhile all four Andretti drivers – Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco – will test on the Indianapolis road course on Thursday, along with Simona De Silvestro of Paretta Autosport, the Arrow McLaren SP pair of O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood of AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy.

P Driver Team-Engine Lap time Laps
1 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske-Chevrolet 18.5375 220
2 Will Power Team Penske-Chevrolet 18.5521 282
3 Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR-Honda 18.5977 125
4 Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda 18.7022 136
5 Josef Newgarden Team Penske-Chevrolet 18.7116 211
6 Pato O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet 18.8194 153
7 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 18.8300 179
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda 18.8405 57
9 Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing-Honda 18.8659 110
10 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 18.8797 100
11 Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda 18.8905 112
12 David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing w/HMD-Honda 18.8907 71
13 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 19.0424 137
14 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda 19.0473 146
15 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing-Honda 19.0799 104
16 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet 19.2056 70
17 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet 19.2492 150
18 Kyle Kirkwood AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 19.3122 122
19 Dalton Kellett AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 19.5628 180