IndyCar GP Indy: Palou fastest in first practice

Ganassi’s defending champion Alex Palou left it until the final seconds of opening practice on the Indy road course to go fastest and displace the impressive Callum Ilott of Juncos Racing and Penske’s Will Power.

IndyCar GP Indy: Palou fastest in first practice
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The session was red flagged with just 1min38sec left of the guaranteed 45min time, as Helio Castroneves spun his Meyer Shank Racing-Honda at Turn 13, just after setting his fastest lap of the morning.

When the session restarted, it looked unlikely that anyone could get their tires up to temperature soon enough to make a difference to the fastest times, but Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda pair Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson strapped on new tires to suddenly burst into first and sixth respectively.

Rookies are granted an extra set of tires in the opening session, but Ilott used them wisely, and with three minutes to go in the session, sneaked ahead of Power by 0.0684sec to claim what was then fastest time. The Briton lapped the 2.439-mile 14-turn road course in 1min10.4593sec, an average speed of 124.617mph.

Power, who has five wins and five pole positions on the Indianapolis road course, set his fastest time on the 10th of 17 laps.

Graham Rahal was second quickest of the Honda drivers, slotting his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry into fourth ahead of the quicker of the two Arrow McLaren SP-Chevys, that of Felix Rosenqvist, who scored his first IndyCar pole at this venue in his rookie season of 2019.

Simon Pagenaud, who has won here three times, was seventh fastest ahead of Jack Harvey of RLL, who scored his (so far) only IndyCar podium at this track in the wet in 2019.

Colton Herta was quickest of the Andretti Autosport-Hondas, but down in 10th, a hair quicker than AMSP’s winner of the previous round, Pato O’Ward.

The Ed Carpenter Racing pairing of Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay were languishing down in 19th and 21st, a surprise given that the Dutch youngster won this race last year.

Jimmie Johnson was only 1.2sec off the ultimate pace, on a track where he first tested an IndyCar, and he was ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the third AMSP-Chevy.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

Alex Palou

1:10.4555

 

18

18

124.623

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

Callum Ilott

1:10.4593

0.0038

16

19

124.617

Chevy

Juncos Hollinger Racing

3

Will Power

1:10.5277

0.0722

10

17

124.496

Chevy

Team Penske

4

Graham Rahal

1:10.6125

0.1570

14

16

124.346

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

5

Felix Rosenqvist

1:10.7108

0.2553

5

15

124.173

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

6

Marcus Ericsson

1:10.7123

0.2568

18

18

124.171

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

7

Simon Pagenaud

1:10.7459

0.2904

5

13

124.112

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

8

Jack Harvey

1:10.7817

0.3262

11

15

124.049

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

9

Helio Castroneves

1:10.7911

0.3356

13

13

124.033

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

10

Colton Herta

1:10.8352

0.3797

8

15

123.955

Honda

Andretti Autosport

11

Pato O'Ward

1:10.8584

0.4029

9

12

123.915

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

12

Romain Grosjean

1:10.8597

0.4042

9

17

123.912

Honda

Andretti Autosport

13

Scott Dixon

1:10.8632

0.4077

4

18

123.906

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

14

Christian Lundgaard

1:10.8853

0.4298

3

17

123.868

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

15

Alexander Rossi

1:10.8906

0.4351

4

17

123.858

Honda

Andretti Autosport

16

Josef Newgarden

1:10.9343

0.4788

4

17

123.782

Chevy

Team Penske

17

Scott McLaughlin

1:10.9543

0.4988

15

15

123.747

Chevy

Team Penske

18

David Malukas

1:10.9703

0.5148

17

20

123.719

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

19

Conor Daly

1:11.0008

0.5453

9

15

123.666

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

20

Devlin DeFrancesco

1:11.0064

0.5509

15

18

123.656

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

21

Rinus VeeKay

1:11.0720

0.6165

12

13

123.542

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

22

Takuma Sato

1:11.1887

0.7332

10

15

123.340

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

23

Kyle Kirkwood

1:11.5867

1.1312

15

16

122.654

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

24

Jimmie Johnson

1:11.6603

1.2048

19

22

122.528

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

25

Juan Pablo Montoya

1:12.0074

1.5519

5

14

121.937

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

26

Dalton Kellett

1:12.2094

1.7539

4

18

121.596

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

27

Tatiana Calderon

1:12.4361

1.9806

5

11

121.216

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

 

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