Reigning IndyCar Champion Palou Leads Hybrid Era’s First Practice at Mid-Ohio

    In the opening practice session of the 2023 IndyCar season’s hybrid era, reigning and two-time series champion Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing topped the timesheets at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

    Palou’s best lap of 1m07.0650s around the resurfaced Mid-Ohio circuit edged out Alexander Rossi’s #7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet by 0.4443 seconds. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong was third, 0.4792 seconds off the pace, giving the team two cars in the top three.

    Andretti Global’s Colton Herta and Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth, respectively.

    The opening practice session marked the official start of IndyCar’s hybrid era, with the current 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engines now paired with a motor generator unit and an energy storage system.

    Despite inclement weather impacting the session, with rain leading to a pair of red flag interruptions, Palou emerged as the pacesetter, showcasing Chip Ganassi Racing’s strong form as the series heads into the second half of the 2023 IndyCar season.

    With the hybrid technology proving reliable even in the wet conditions, the focus now shifts to Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, where the new hybrid powertrains will make their competitive debut on the challenging Mid-Ohio circuit.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source