Herta shows the way in rainy second Road America practice

Rain started to fall 10 minutes before the start of Saturday morning’s NTT IndyCar Series practice session and the skies continued to shower the Road America circuit throughout most of the 45-minute outing.

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta was fastest in the No. 26 Honda with a lap of 2m7.3027s, well shy of the 1m43.2506s he turned on Friday to run second behind Alex Palou. Team Penske’s Will Power was 1.9s behind Herta in the No. 12 Team Penske Chevy, and thanks to a late run when the rain was at its lightest, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Christian Rasmussen moved the No. 20 Chevy into third, 2.2s back from Herta.

The first red flag was required when Palou spun and got stuck in the gravel at the 35-minute mark. The next red flag was required with 27 minutes to go when Pietro Fittipaldi went firing through Canada Corner—went straight at high speed—and got his car stopped just before nosing into the barriers. Alexander Rossi nearly joined him but got his car under control. At this point, 25 drivers had ventured out.


Rain got heavy with 24 minutes to go and most drivers pitted as some climbed out and others had covers placed over their cars. A few chose to go back out as the intensity reduced with 12 minutes left, and more continued as the rare opportunity to work on rain setups turned the session into a valuable learning opportunity. As well, many of the newer drivers in the field have limited experience driving the Dallara DW12 chassis in wet conditions, so for some like Fittipaldi, the chance to drive his Indy car in the rain was welcomed.

“It was my first time, really, in wet conditions; we had a few laps in Detroit, but it was with the safety car,” Fittipaldi told RACER. “So this was my first proper wet track in this car and it was super slippery. The more laps you do, you start getting more temp in the tires, but what was difficult here is, the longer the session went on, the wetter it got. We couldn’t really test too much because we only did like five laps. But at least for me, it was just good to get some experience in the wet.”

Rain had almost stopped with six minutes left but another red was needed to sort out Kyle Kirkwood who spun and stalled, and once he drove back to the pits and the session resumed, a flurry of activity saw the top 10 undergo a few changes behind Herta and Power. No driver turned more than 10 laps and most kept their running to six laps or less.

UP NEXT: Qualifying, 3:25 p.m. ET, on Peacock.


Story originally appeared on Racer