Newcomers Herta, Ericsson lead opening session at COTA test

Updated: 

AUSTIN, Texas – Circuit of The Americas is a new track for most NTT IndyCar Series drivers, so it comes as little surprise to see a pair of series newcomers atop the timesheet following the first practice session at INDYCAR Spring Training.

INDYCAR Spring Training: Session 1 results

Colton Herta clipped off a lap of 1 minute, 48.7443 seconds (112.889 mph) at the close of the two-hour session Tuesday morning to lead 25 drivers in the first official session for the NTT IndyCar Series at the iconic 3.41-mile permanent road course. Marcus Ericsson, a fellow series rookie who’s the most experienced driver at COTA with four Formula 1 starts, was second fastest in the practice at 1:48.8392 (112.790 mph).

The two-day open test at the site of the second series race this season – the INDYCAR Classic on March 24 – continues with a three-hour session Tuesday afternoon (3:30-6:30 p.m. ET, livestream on IndyCar.com) and concludes with a pair of practices on Wednesday. Spring Training serves as a precursor to the opening race of the season, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10.

Josef Newgarden, the 2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion, put the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet into third place on the timesheet with a lap of 1:49.3531. Another rookie, RC Enerson, ran fourth in the No. 23 Carlin Chevrolet (1:49.5431, 112.065 mph).

Reigning series champion Scott Dixon was seventh in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda (1:50.0077). A total of 364 laps were completed by 24 drivers. Kyle Kaiser, in the No. 32 NFP Chevrolet for Juncos Racing, had his car some to a stop with a clutch issue on his out lap and didn’t return, so didn’t register on the final timesheet.

From the fans