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.
|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|