Josef Newgarden turned the fastest lap in a disjointed opening practice for the Grand Prix of Portland this afternoon. After about 24 minutes of the session, the red flag came out for an unusual reason.
A video board on the front stretch opposite the pits began to lower itself. Hydraulic fluid was leaking from the arm, and the board could have potentially fallen ontop the racing surface.
Practice resumed one hour and 21 minutes later. The final 51 minutes were interrupted three times. Takuma Sato went off in turn 11 and the front of his car made contact with the tire barrier. Helio Castroneves had an off road excursion, then later spun and stalled. Pato O’Ward backed into the tire barrier. His car would not restart.
In addition to the red flags, Romain Grosjean’s day ended early with transmission issues.
The top three today- Nerwgarden, David Malukas, and Scott McLaughlin.
Three of the top five in points finished in a group. Alex Palou was ninth, Will Power 10th, ancd Scott Dixon 11th.