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VeeKay leads increasingly hot warm-up at Laguna Seca

Rinus VeeKay put his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet at the top of the times in Sunday morning warm-up for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. The Dutchman lapped 2.238-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 1m08.4096s, 0.042s ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon.

The main task for all teams and drivers was to assess tire degradation as the track temperatures are skewing far hotter than previously forecast.

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta was the first driver to try out a long run on Firestone’s alternate tire, but after six laps, his drive was interrupted by a red flag caused by Sting Ray Robb. The AJ Foyt Racing driver got the fast, uphill Turn 6 slightly wrong, ran wide on the exit curbs and slid through the gravel. Thankfully the car hit a deeply stacked part of the tire wall, and while the right-rear corner of his car was heavily damaged, Robb alighted from his car under his own power.

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Meanwhile, Robb’s Foyt teammate Santino Ferrucci was served a stop and hold penalty for a silly obstructive move on his Juncos Hollinger Racing bete noire Romain Grosjean.

Penske’s Will Power had a spin through the same Turn 6 gravel as Robb, but kept it off the wall and continued without causing a red flag.

Agustin Canapino went to the top of the times in the final 10 minutes, setting a 1m08.5314s on primary tires, while Grosjean ran a 1m08.8558s on reds but impressively produced a 1m09.8170s 12 laps into his run, suggesting the alternates can hold on.

Dixon, who was also practicing fuel save, moved CGR to the top of the times, briefly, before VeeKay went P1.

Canapino was third, ahead of Linus Lundqvist (Ganassi), Herta, Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti), Marcus Armstrong (Ganassi) and polesitter Alex Palou.

The green flag waves for the start of the Firestone GP of Monterey at 3:30 p.m. local (Pacific) time.

RESULTS

STARTING LINEUP AND STARTING TIRES

Story originally appeared on Racer