James Hinchcliffe led an Andretti Autosport 1-2-4 on the opening day of practice for the 104th Indianapolis 500 as Fernando Alonso clocked the fifth fastest time.
Making only his third IndyCar Series outing of the year, 2016 pole-winner Hinchcliffe turned a 224.526mph average on his 35th of 80 laps in the afternoon session to edge teammate Marco Andretti by 0.18mph.
Similarly impressive was his no-tow speed of 220.732mph, a mere 0.003mph slower than teammate and 2014 Indy winner Ryan Hunter-Reay who ended the day fourth fastest overall.
The non-Andretti interloper in the top four was series points leader Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing machine, the 2008 Indy 500 winner clocking a best effort of 224.046mph.
One year after failing to qualify for the 500, two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso’s resumption of his assault on the Triple Crown began well with the fifth fastest time – and top Chevrolet runner – although the Spaniard’s Arrow McLaren SP car only completed 29 laps.
Alonso placed just ahead of 2019 IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden in the fastest of the four Team Penske entries.
Although Newgarden’s Indy-winning teammates Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power were down in 10th, 12th and 23rd respectively, Power, Castroneves and Newgarden had topped the average speeds over 30 laps, equivalent to one full stint.
Top rookie honours went to Alex Palou of Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh in eighth place, one place ahead of Iowa polesitter Conor Daly, back with traditional pole-contending outfit Ed Carpenter Racing after his strong showing with the Carlin team last time out.
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One-time Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan took a run in Foyt team-mate Dalton Kellett’s car to reassure the Canadian rookie that all was well with his machine, and Kellett duly completed his Rookie Orientation Practice, which he hadn’t quite done in the early afternoon session.
The third Foyt entry driven by Charlie Kimball had a slightly alarming brush with the Turn 2 wall – curiously, on corner entry – but that was the closest anyone came to causing a yellow. The other caution periods were for track inspections.
After the end of practice, the DragonSpeed car of Ben Hanley, who hadn’t turned a lap throughout the day, was allowed out alone on track for a shakedown and to run his Refresher course.
Weather allowing, action resumes tomorrow morning at 11am local (Eastern) time with six-and-a-half hours available to all 33 runners.
|1||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||224.526||80|
|2||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||224.345||96|
|3||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||224.047||61|
|4||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||223.341||81|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Arrow McLaren SP||223.238||29|
|6||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||223.188||82|
|7||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||223.178||107|
|8||Alex Palou||Dale Coyne Racing||223.128||60|
|9||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||223.020||80|
|10||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||222.929||62|
|11||Tony Kanaan||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||222.873||58|
|12||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||222.849||112|
|13||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||222.551||84|
|14||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||222.541||89|
|15||Charlie Kimball||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||222.438||102|
|16||Rinus Van Kalmthout||Ed Carpenter Racing||222.061||76|
|17||Sage Karam||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||222.031||46|
|18||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||221.952||77|
|19||Santino Ferrucci||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan||221.905||87|
|20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||221.813||102|
|21||James Davison||Dale Coyne Racing||221.709||36|
|22||Colton Herta||Andretti Harding||221.699||91|
|23||Will Power||Team Penske||221.634||124|
|24||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||221.588||129|
|25||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||221.498||111|
|26||Spencer Pigot||Citrone Buhl Autosport with RLL||221.492||81|
|27||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||221.359||98|
|28||Patricio O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||221.341||55|
|30||Dalton Kellett||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||220.825||26|
|31||Oliver Askew||Arrow McLaren SP||220.130||51|
|32||J.R. Hildebrand||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||219.859||29|
|33||Tony Kanaan||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||218.306||6|