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Colton Herta was fastest for the third straight session in IndyCar’s ‘Spring Training’ test at Austin on Wednesday morning.
The Harding Steinbrenner Racing Dallara-Honda driver left it until 13 minutes to go in the two-hour session before turning up the wick and lapping the 3.427-mile United States Grand Prix Formula 1 course in 1m46.6401s.
That beat his semi-team-mate, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, by 0.3731 seconds, and eclipsed the fastest Chevrolet entry – Simon Pagenaud’s Team Penske machine – by over half a second.
Scott Dixon was one of five spinners, along with Jack Harvey, Kyle Kaiser, James Hinchcliffe and Spencer Pigot, but the reigning champion went out soon after and nailed a 1m47.7899s, barely edging the second Penske entry of 2017 champion Josef Newgarden for fourth.
Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing Dallara-Honda was sixth quickest ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and second fastest rookie Felix Rosenqvist in the second Chip Ganassi Racing car.
Sebastien Bourdais bounced back from a disappointing Monday to grab ninth on his last flying lap in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Dallara-Honda, while Carlin Racing’s RC Enerson made it three rookies in the top 10.
AJ Foyt Racing also had a better morning, series sophomore Matheus Leist and veteran Tony Kanaan clocking 15th and 17th fastest after a troubled Tuesday.
A further four-hour session takes place on Wednesday afternoon to conclude the test.