The second practice for IndyCar at Long Beach was completed on Saturday morning, and it was Pato O’Ward who once again put his name atop the timesheets.
The Arrow McLaren driver has his car locked in, and his famously fast hands seem to suit the tricky street course well.
Kyle Kirkwood was the second fastest driver of the day, with his Andretti team-mate Romain Grosjean following closely in third.
Colton Herta made it an Andretti Autosport trio by completing the fourth fastest time of the morning, and Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top five.
Callum Ilott was the first driver to have a bad start to the day, as he launched himself off the curbs on the inside of the tricky turn 5.
His Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevy crashed hard into the tire barriers three minutes into the session, and forced the Briton to sit out the remainder of the critical morning practice.
On the very first green lap after Ilott’s crash, Rinus VeeKay had an identical crash that tore up his Ed Carpenter Racing machine in the same manner.
Television pictures revealed that a piece of curbing was damaged and removed on Friday, then was added back to the track overnight before the running on Saturday, which caused the cars to launch over it as if it were a ramp.
The track changes were not communicated to drivers before they found out the hard way, leading to some hurt feelings and lost track time from those affected.
The rest of the teams were able to radio their drivers to give them a warning about the added curb, and extra care was given to avoid the troublesome spot from then on.
A couple drivers pushed the limits a bit too far and found themselves having to reverse out of the run off areas, and few others brushed dangerously against the concrete barriers, but no other major damage was done aside from the two that crashed early.
The next time drivers see the track will be for a Fast Six knockout qualifying session in the afternoon, setting the field for Sunday’s race.