Illot paces final Barber practice

Callum Illott’s upswing continued as he set the pace in final practice for the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama.

The driver of the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet used a set of alternate reds on his 13th lap to set the quickest lap of the session at 1 minute 7.0906 seconds.

Illot, who is competing in his maiden NTT IndyCar Series season, has consistently placed in the top ten in each practice session but ended up 11th on the grid in qualifying after a red flag halted his flier lap.

Having tested at the 2.38-mile road course last week, the Britton was pleased with his result.

“I struggled here in the test,” he said. “It was a little bit me. I had nothing to compare to, so that didn’t set us amazingly to start with, but we, we analyzed everything, tried to improve the best of what we could on our own, and yeah, we’re in a good position.

“The car works well with the track. I think we’re in a better situation. I think honestly, we could have got a P6 or P7 in qually as well.”

Defending race winner Alex Palou was just .1010s behind and led a Ganassi 2-3-4 sweep followed by Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon. Alexander Rossi brought up the rear of the top five, once again leading the Andretti Autosport camp.

Team Penske’s top representative came from Scott McLaughlin in sixth followed by 2019 Barber champion Takuma Sato in seventh. Christian Lundgaard ended up eighth ahead of David Malukas in ninth as Colton Herta completed the top ten.

Tatiana Calderon brought out a lengthy red flag after losing control of her No. 11 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet on approach to Turn 2 and skidding through the gravel trap.

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