MONTEREY, Calif. – The front of the field for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was also at the front of the timing sheet during Sunday morning’s 30-minute warmup session.
Alexander Rossi, who starts on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda for Andretti Autosport, was the fastest at 1:12.862 around the 11-turn, 2.258-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Pole winner and defending race winner, Andretti/Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta, was second quick in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda at 1:12.9651.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Takuma Sato followed at 1:13.3539 in the No. 30 Honda, followed by departing Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay’s 1:13.4673 in the No. 28 DHL Honda.
Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing rounded out the top five in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda at 1:13.4940.
Alex Palou holds a 25-point lead over Pato O’Ward in the NTT IndyCar Series championship with two races left. Palou was ninth at 1:13.7181. O’Ward was 21st at 1:14.4486.
Two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden needs to make up a 34-point deficit with two races remaining in the battle for the 2021 series championship. He was sixth fastest at 1:13.6180 in the final warmup session.
The 30-minute final practice was held in extremely foggy conditions, which is expected to burn off over the next few hours, as is typical with the weather at the Monterey Peninsula.
Rookie Callum Ilott brought out the only red flag of the session when he went off course in turn six and damaged his car. That was the only major incident in the practice.
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will begin shortly after the NBC telecast starts at 3 p.m. Eastern Time later Sunday.