Hinchcliffe sets the pace in opening Indy 500 practice

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe set the pace in opening Indy 500 practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the Canadian laying down a 40.0844s (224.526mph, 361.340km/h) lap in his #29 Dallara-Honda.

As cars hit the track at the famed venue ahead of an event unlike any other in the Indy 500’s 109-year history, with this year’s race to be the first ever 500 held behind closed doors, it was part-timer Hinchcliffe who landed the early blow with his red-hot time.

The 33-year-old was one of three Andretti Autosport drivers in the top five, with Marco Andretti (224.345mph, 361.048km/h) second, and Ryan Hunter-Reay fourth (223.341mph, 359.433mk/h).

Championship leader Scott Dixon was third (224.047mph, 360.569km/h), with Fernando Alonso, who is chasing his triple crown ambition, fifth (223.238mph, 359.267km/h).

Two-time Formula One champion Alonso is returning following last year’s disaster with McLaren, when the Spaniard failed to make the field.

Josef Newgarden was sixth (223.188mph, 359.186km/h), with Jack Harvey (223.178mph, 359.170km/h), Alex Palou (223.128mph, 359.090km/h), Conor Daly (223.020mph, 358.916km/h) and Helio Castroneves (222.929mph, 358.770km/h) rounding out the top 10.

Will Power, the 2018 winner, was down in 23rd (221.634mph, 356.685km/h), two spots below Australian countryman James Davison (221.709mph, 356.806km/h).

It was a Team Penske one-two-three in the best 30-lap average speed, with Power (220.31mph, 354.555km/h) ahead of Newgarden (219.428mph, 353.135km/h) and Castroneves (221.532mph, 356.521km/h).

The six-and-a-half-hour session, which included the Rookie Orientation Program, ran without incident, but it was Hinchcliffe who will head towards qualifying buoyed by his pace despite running part-time schedule in 2020.

“It’s always nice rolling off the truck here with a car that’s got good pace,” Hinchcliffe told the broadcast.

“There’s nothing worse than being, ‘okay, we’ve got a day to find a mile and a half’.

“It’s a huge credit to everyone at Andretti Autosport. They’ve got a bunch of quick cars.

“We just need to work on it a little bit, get the balance better working in a big group, but can’t ask much more for the first day.”

Practice continues in Indianapolis at 01:00 AEST on Friday (11:00 Thursday, local time) with another session followed by the Qualifications Order Draw to determine the order for the four-lap qualifying runs on Saturday.

CLICK HERE for the results.

Source Article

Next Post

What Is F1? - Autosport

Thu Aug 13 , 2020
The search for grand prix racing’s soul Formula 1 is battling an identity crisis that will only end if it faces the challenge of understanding the qualities that define it. Each week, Ben Anderson and leading paddock figures will try to pin down Formula 1’s fundamental appeal to fans. Join […]