Bad luck for Herta in the Gallagher GP at Indy
What looked like a great day for Colton Herta quickly turned into a bad day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
Herta won the track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road race in May, but an apparent mechanical problem ended driver Andretti Autosport’s day prematurely at the Gallagher Grand Prix.
“The #26 Honda Gainbridge was solid all weekend,” said Herta. “The crew did a great job with the set-up, I think we were the car to beat honestly. We had the problem halfway through the race and there was nothing we could do at that point. “Being in Nashville. As a team, we’ve been strong on the street courses, so I think we’ll be in a good position.”
Herta started the race from ninth position and took the lead on lap 41. But he hit the pavement too hard from turn 12 on lap 42 and apparently damaged his gearbox, forcing him to abandon the event.
“The man who is sad,” Hetra later tweeted. “We showed what we were capable of doing. We will continue until we win again.
Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi then took control of the race lead after the Herta mishap and then broke a three-year, 49-race winless streak.
“I think he was definitely strong,” Rossi said of Herta. “We had pretty much the same race car. I don’t want to take anything away from him and what he did to go from ninth place to this position was incredible. But it was the turn of 27, so that’s great.
Ericsson finished 11th after starting last but lost the points lead,
When Ericsson last left Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, he was the last winner of the famed Indianapolis 500 and the overall leader.
Now he leaves Indy without a trophy and in second place. He entered the race eight points ahead of Will Power. He leaves Indy nine points behind Power, who takes the points lead.
However, Ericsson is still happy with the end result of the weekend. It wasn’t a good start. He started last Saturday’s race in the 25-car field after failing to complete a single lap in Friday’s qualifying session due to mechanical problems with his car.
But Ericsson was able to move slowly through the peloton, and he probably would have advanced further had he not been careful.
“We were strong there and had a good strategy during that first stint,” Ericsson said. “Unfortunately that yellow came and it was very badly timed for us.
“So that advantage that we would have had for the second half of the race kind of slipped away from us. Still, coming up from 25th is something we can be happy about.”
With four races remaining in the 2022 season, another win could quickly propel Ericsson to the top.
“We’re still in the hunt for the championship, and we’re going to Nashville where we won last year,” Ericsson said. “I’m looking forward to it.”