Chevrolet Indycar at Mid-Ohio: Team Chevy Practice One Recap

  • Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, posted the second quickest time in the final order of practice one at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to lead Team Chevy in the debut of the hybrid power unit
  • Despite the session being slowed by rain, drivers got laps utilizing the hybrid system
  • No issues were reported throughout the session
  • Team Chevy finished the one hour, 15-minute practice session with Rossi, then Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet, Pato O’Ward. No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet finishing fifth and seventh respectively, followed by Team Penske’s  No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet driven by Will Power in 10th.
  • The 80-lap, 180.64-mile Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio kicks off with first practice Friday, July 5 at 3:20 p.m. ET. Saturday sees second practice at 10:50 a.m., with qualifying and the Firestone Fast Six following at 3 p.m. ET. Race day starts with warm up at 10:25 a.m. ET, and the race takes the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC. All practice and qualifying sessions broadcast with Peacock, INDYCAR Radio, and SiriusXM Channel 218.

TEAM CHEVY TOP-10 PRACTICE RESULT:

Pos.  Driver

2nd     Alexander Rossi (1:07.5093)

5th    Scott McLaughlin (1:07.6827

7th    Pato O’Ward (1:07.8407)

10th   Will Power (1:08.1458)

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES)

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“We didn’t turn a lot of laps today in Practice 1. I’m just glad we were able to get one solid lap in to analyze some data. We’ll work tonight to see what we need to improve on for tomorrow.”

Nolan Siegel, No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“We’re off to a solid start this weekend. The session got cut short because of the rain and we didn’t get all the running in that we wanted to, which was tough. I thought we rolled off pretty strong, though; that was the strongest session we’ve had together. The No. 6 NTT DATA Arrow McLaren Chevrolet team is making progress and getting more competitive, so we’re in a good spot moving forward.”

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“We only got one run in because of the rain, but the car seems to be in a good window. The hybrid works as we expected, which is good. We even got a couple laps in the rainy conditions. It’s hard to really know where we’re at, but certainly the No. 7 VELO Arrow McLaren Chevrolet is in a good place to start the weekend.”

Gavin Ward, Team Principal at Arrow McLaren:

“The weather didn’t cooperate today, but everyone had to deal with that. I think we got off to a pretty good start. We learned a few things in the dry conditions and learned a little bit in the rainy conditions. I’m hoping it stays dry for the rest of the weekend here so we can get more laps in.”

Romain Grosjean, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet:

“We are here at Mid-Ohio, but the weather didn’t help us much today.But I think we have a decent baseline. I think that is as we could hope for so some work to be done on a car but looking positve for tomorrow.”

Agustin Canapino, No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet:

“Unfortunately we have a problem today but the good thing is raining after my problem, so we have some luck with that .Tomorrow is another day so we see what happened tomorrow.”

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet:

“We just didn’t see a need to take the PPG Chevy out in the rain with the forecast being dry for the weekend. Definitely wanted to get it one more run but the spin I had flat spotted the tires. Thankfully we were able to learn a bit about how the hybrid system will affect the handling. It definitely changes the balance and braking quite a bit. Then, you throw in the new pavement on top of that. I think everyone wished we could’ve had a bit more dry weather to put it through its paces today but so far everything seems good.”

Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet:

“The Sonsio Chevy team had a great plan for the session to gradually work in the hybrid system. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas for us. We got 14 laps in so that gave us something to build on for qualifying tomorrow. We have a lot of miles left to run this weekend, but everything worked great for us. No issues.”

Will Power, No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet:

“It was nice to get out there and work on the hybrid over a race weekend. Wish we could have had more time but there wasn’t any benefit for us to go out in the rain. The weekend looks to be very clear. Definitely deployed the hybrid on the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet and it worked pretty seamlessly. Tomorrow will be a big day.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET – End of Day Press Conference:

THE MODERATOR: Wrapping up the first day of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the 2025 Civic Hybrid. We’ll be joined by P1 in that practice session, Alex Palou, but currently joined by Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, pole winner, NTT P1 award winner here in 2022, three top 10s here at Mid-Ohio.

Outside of the rain, which kind of put a damper on things, your thoughts on day one today?

PATO O’WARD: Yeah, obviously not ideal that it started raining there at the end. Would have liked to get a few more laps. We truly only kind of got one. Everything else was just always traffic, stack-ups, everybody trying to get clean gaps, but these tracks aren’t long enough for the 27 cars that we have. So that’s kind of been a little tough in these practice sessions.

But at least we got one in, a decent lap in, that we can kind of look over and really see what we need. I know what we need from the car, so that’s the most important thing.

THE MODERATOR: The weather looks decent the rest of the way, so practice 2 is going to be crucial it sounds like.

PATO O’WARD: Yeah, tomorrow I think practice 2 will be obviously the most important going into qualifying. I don’t expect this race to be any different to the last few years. It’s going to be a track position race, very sensitive to where you qualify, and yeah, that’s going to be the full focus tomorrow, just trying to get this car as close to the front row as we can.

Q. How does the hybrid — can you sense or feel the hybrid kicking in?

PATO O’WARD: You can feel it. You can definitely feel it when you engage the deploy. It’s obviously not as big as I think people are thinking in terms of lap time. It’s less than two tenths I would say with a perfectly optimized usage of deployment strategy.

I think the system is capable of so much more, so I would like to see that evolve into let’s really push this system and see how much it can actually give us in terms of lap time because if it gives us four, five, six tenths over the lap, I think that’s when we’ll really see it getting optimized by all the teams and just trying to perfect it as much as possible because now it won’t be as — it’ll usually overthrow a little balance difference in the car exactly.

Yeah, so far I think we’re just working through it. Obviously it’s brand new, and we just need to kind of go through the whole process, I’d say.

Q. It seems like it doesn’t even take half a lap in some cases to harvest or regenerate. Are you impressed by that, how quickly you can get back to 100 percent?

PATO O’WARD: Yeah, there’s different levels to that, and it’s very similar to — I wouldn’t say it’s similar to the Formula 1 car, but it’s the same kind of idea of, like, the braking generates the energy, it goes into the pack, and then you deploy it where you wish.

Different to us, we have to manually deploy. If you get out of sequence and you have to manually kind of regen, there’s limits to how much you can regen and limits to how much you can deploy, so there’s a lot of limits that we need to work through.

Q. Do you guys need better weathermen to try and get the red tire run in? I’m surprised nobody put the reds on earlier in the session to at least try that.

PATO O’WARD: My Arrow McLaren is base Arrow McLaren. I don’t have the radar in it, so I couldn’t tell you.

Q. I know it was only nine laps, a dozen laps or so. Was there anything that you learned about the hybrid system running out there today that was new or a surprise or anything like that, or just not enough laps to learn that much?

PATO O’WARD: Nothing we already know from the tests that we’ve done. The balance of the car has changed. I think it’s an accumulation of both the new tarmac and the 100 pounds at the rear of the car that have shuffled the mechanical balance of the car rearwards, but I think you’ll see teams and drivers get creative for the race. I think that’s where you’re going to see a massive shift in, like, effect on the tire or stuff like that.

Q. Pato, you mentioned if you time all of this perfectly, you’re maybe getting two tenths or so on your competitors, say if they weren’t using the hybrid system at all on a lap. With all the work you’re having to do in the cockpit, all the buttons, having to do everything perfect, is there a risk that by going for those two-tenths, if you don’t do it right, you could set yourself back by not doing other things on your lap as well as you might have been able to do otherwise if you weren’t messing with the hybrid?

PATO O’WARD: I’d say car balance is still a priority, but you can’t just ignore it because it’s to the point where, like, the series is so competitive in qualifying I’ve been left out of the Fast Six for half a tenth a couple times this year. If someone uses it that half a tenth better than you do, they’ll transfer and you won’t if you’re right on the throw-out line.

I think there’s a big emphasis on both ends. You’ve got to get it right if you really want to be one of the top performing cars. But I would say it definitely doesn’t outweigh trying to get a better balance for the car. I think that is definitely the priority, and this is just kind of free lap time that you can gain by optimizing it.

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