Andretti turns fastest IMS lap since 1996

With the turbo boost turned up from 1.3-bar to 1.5-bar in preparation for qualifying weekend, the Hondas are looking very strong at half-distance in the 6hrs30min session, although their dominance is perhaps skewed by handling difficulties for all four Team Penske-Chevrolets.

Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Zach Veach was the first driver to run a 230mph lap, with temporary teammate James Hinchcliffe hitting 231.

2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay moved the bar though, with a lap of 232.124, but more relevant for qualifying was that his four-lap average was a very impressive 231.2mph.

Marco Andretti then delivered his 233.491mph, tripping the Turn 1 and 3 speedtraps above 239mph, but his fastest no-tow speed was 227.609mph. His second run, around an hour later as the heat increased, featured a first lap more than 231, but his speed ebbed away on subsequent laps. Conor Daly’s first significant run in his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet emulated that form, and he too received a tow.

Inserting himself into the Andretti mix was the Citrone/Buhl Autosport-RLL entry of last year’s front-row starter Spencer Pigot with a 232mph lap, something that Dixon was able to emulate – but only after the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing crew had a frustrating 45min struggle on pitlane with an apparent electrical gremlin.

Team Penske was disappointed by Josef Newgarden’s first run which failed to crack the 230mph barrier because the handling wasn’t good enough for him to hold the throttle flat all the way around even on his first lap, when grip was at its best. Teammate Will Power’s looked more consistent across the four laps but again his best was only 229.650mph, 11th on the four-lap average at the time, while Helio Castroneves’ car looked like an understeering beast. Simon Pagenaud was the fastest of the Penskes on their first run with a 230mph lap.

Indy 500 Fast Friday, halfway report

P

No

Name

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

98

Marco Andretti

10

20

233.491

Honda

Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian

2

47

Conor Daly

14

15

232.337

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

3

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

3

14

232.124

Honda

Andretti Autosport

4

45

Spencer Pigot

9

16

232.116

Honda

RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport

5

9

Scott Dixon

11

15

232.028

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

29

James Hinchcliffe

10

14

231.967

Honda

Andretti Autosport

7

27

Alexander Rossi

23

24

231.859

Honda

Andretti Autosport

8

8

Marcus Ericsson

12

16

231.763

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

9

60

Jack Harvey

10

18

231.600

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

10

26

Zach Veach

11

14

231.190

Honda

Andretti Autosport

11

88

Colton Herta

21

32

231.090

Honda

Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport

12

30

Takuma Sato

8

10

230.637

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

13

5

Pato O’Ward

10

26

230.581

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

14

55

Alex Palou

3

6

230.469

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh

15

10

Felix Rosenqvist

16

20

230.432

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

16

15

Graham Rahal

15

33

230.412

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

17

22

Simon Pagenaud

2

4

230.189

Chevy

Team Penske

18

18

Santino Ferrucci

6

10

230.154

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

19

21

Rinus VeeKay

4

10

230.129

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

20

7

Oliver Askew

11

19

230.055

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

21

12

Will Power

5

7

229.650

Chevy

Team Penske

22

20

Ed Carpenter

4

7

229.563

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

23

14

Tony Kanaan

8

9

229.462

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

24

1

Josef Newgarden

3

6

229.205

Chevy

Team Penske

25

41

Dalton Kellett

15

18

228.581

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

26

3

Helio Castroneves

2

6

228.423

Chevy

Team Penske

27

67

JR Hildebrand

14

26

228.275

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

28

24

Sage Karam

15

25

228.187

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

29

66

Fernando Alonso

17

22

228.092

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

30

4

Charlie Kimball

11

12

227.480

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

31

59

Max Chilton

5

28

227.233

Chevy

Carlin

32

51

James Davison

2

5

225.394

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing/Byrd/Belardi

33

81

Ben Hanley

8

18

218.967

Chevy

DragonSpeed USA

 

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