INDYCAR: Herta tops P3 at Portland

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PORTLAND, Oregon – Colton Herta was the fastest driver in the third and final practice session for the Grand Prix of Portland Saturday morning, with an elapsed time of 57.9939 seconds around the 12-Turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway.

Herta led current series point leader Josef Newgarden by 0.1083 seconds.

Newgarden’s teammate Will Power ended the session third fastest, with an elapsed time of 58.1732 seconds, while championship-contenders Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi finished the session fourth and fifth-fastest, respectfully.

2018 Portland runner-up Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the session sixth-fastest, while Jack Harvey, Graham Rahal, Felix Rosenqvist and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top 10.

The reg flag would come out twice in the 45-minute session, with Matheus Leist and Santino Ferrucci both stalling near Turn 1 in separate incidents.

Following the session, all drivers lined up together in the pit lane, while the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team lined up together across the track’s start/finish line to hold a moment of silence for Anthonie Hubert, the French F2 driver who passed away in a horrific crash in today’s race at Spa-Francorchamps today.

Live coverage of Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland begins later this evening at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full practice results

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WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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