IndyCar Thermal Test 4 session | Lundgaard comfortably fastest ahead of qualifying as Penske and Arrow McLaren deliver strong pace

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment | Chris Owens
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A dust storm caused by high winds meant the first 10 minutes of the session was put on hold.

When the session did get going, Sting Ray Robb had multiple excursions as there was no grip out on circuit. O’Ward, Kirkwood, Rasmussen and McLaughlin also had relatively big moments inside the first 30 minutes.

Power’s 1:40.7777 had him at the front a quarter of a way into the session, with fellow champions Newgarden and Dixon in the 1:41s. Moments later, Callum Ilott joined the Australian in the 1:40s club.

Herta, Ilott, Ericsson, Power, Palou, Grosjean all had moments and went off track before the first red flag appeared.

With 74 minutes to go, Christian Rasmussen got wide in turn 2 and spun in the tarmac run off area as it was so dusty and lacking grip, ending up in the gravel.

Rossi, O’Ward, Power, Palou, Ilott, Herta, Newgarden, McLaughlin, Grosjean and Dixon completed the top 10 when the red flag was thrown.

Halfway through, a 1:38.6404 from Will Power saw him at the top, followed by McLaughlin, Ilott, Veekay, Blomqvist, Rasmussen, Rossi, O’Ward, Palou and Grosjean. Only the Kiwi was in the 1:38s as well as the top 2 completed a qualifying simulation on new tyres.

At turn 8, Scott Dixon went for a spin but managed to avoid the gravel and barrier as he skillfully managed a tricky situation.

The improvements continued to come in, McLaughlin found some time as a 1:38.7240 got him within a tenth of teammate Power. A 1:38.9803 from Herta put him in P3 with 30 minutes remaining.

Ilott and Rossi would then get into the 1:38s in their Arrow McLarens as they jumped Herta to slot into 3rd and 4th. O’Ward joined his McLaren teammates in the top 5 as he beat them to P3.

Inside the final five 5 minutes, a 1:38.2199 from Christian Lundgaard in the RLL car put over 0.4s into the field.

Pato O’Ward had a huge off but somehow managed to avoid an accident.

Lundgaard led Power, McLaughlin, Rossi, O’Ward, Ilott, Herta, Grosjean, VeeKay and Palou. Series champions Newgarden and Dixon finished P11 and P12, with 2022 Indy 500 winner Ericsson 13th.