palou tops final in-season indycar test from laguna seca

Dixon races up the hill towards the iconic corkscrew. Photo: IndyCar

For the final in-season test of 2022, nearly half of IndyCar’s full-time drivers headed to the site of the upcoming finale to put in a day’s worth of valuable testing.

At the end of nearly eight hours of running, it was Alex Palou that logged the fastest lap around Laguna Seca, completing his best lap in 1:11.4406.

Palou was nearly a quarter of a second faster than Felix Rosenqvist, who put in the second-fastest time of the day.  Pato O’Ward was close behind his team-mate, with a lap of 1:11.7107.

Speeds were slightly slower than last year’s qualifying running, but since this was just a test, the aim was not necessarily to set the outright fastest lap.  Time was spent trying out new ideas in relation to suspension and driving lines, rather than risking damage setting blistering laps.

13 drivers from six different teams were on track Monday, with Arrow McLaren SP, Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Juncos Hollinger Racing, and Andretti Autosport all present.

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The date was the last eligible test date for the 2022 season, and each team was keen to put their fourth and final allotted testing day to good use.

However, the start of running was delayed because the Firestone truck carrying tires for the entire contingent was late getting to the track. Once it arrived, around three hours later than planned, everyone was able to get out and start working on their test programs.

In all, over 1,200 laps were turned on the historic 2.2-mile course, with Rosenqvist completing the most out of anybody with 112.

Devlin DeFrancesco was the only driver to test on Monday that also participated in last week’s test in Portland, meaning he will have recent experience at both tracks that make up the final weekends of the 2022 season.

With the year’s testing now complete for the entire field, all 26 drivers will head to Portland for the first of back-to-back races to decide the close race for the championship.

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