Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix | IndyCar FP1 | Newgarden fastest from O’Ward and Power

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment | Joe Skibinski
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Josef Newgarden rebounded from his St. Pete disqualification as he went fastest in first practice at Barber Motorsports Park ahead of Sunday’s race.

The two-time IndyCar champion spun early on in practice as he had a big moment at turn 13, ending up on the grass. Teammate and fellow St. Pete disqualifier had a snap at the same spot later on but avoided spinning or crashing.

Not long after, a second red flag was required as Agustin Canapino lost his car at turn 1 and spun into the run off. He lost the engine.

Several other drivers also got into difficulty during the opening session. Alexander Rossi ended up in the gravel twice, firstly at turn 2 as the car simply did not grip and he understeered off, just avoiding a touch with the barrier.

The 32-year-old also had a trip through the gravel at turn 5 as the Arrow McLaren encountered rear locking. Teammate Pato O’Ward and Team Penske’s Will Power encountered the same fate during the session.

Late on in the session, Romain Grosjean put Jack Harvey on the grass at relatively low speed as the Frenchman felt he was blocked by the Brit through the very long corner at turn 2.

Ultimately it was the defending Indy 500 champion who topped the times as a 1:06.7045 saw Newgarden end up quickest. O’Ward and Power ended up within a tenth of his time as they completed the top 3.

Herta, Lundgaard, Grosjean, Rahal, Armstrong, McLaughlin and Ericsson rounded out the top 10.

It was a relatively low-key session for Alex Palou and Scott Dixon as they did a decent amount of laps, placing 12th and 21st respectively.

Theo Pourchaire clocked the 25th fastest time, 1.3s slower than Newgarden. Debutant and fellow former Formula 2 driver Luca Ghiotto was last, 1.9s away from the leading time.