IndyCar GP Indy: Rossi leads Harvey in opening practice

First practice for the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis saw Alexander Rossi put his Andretti Autosport-Honda on top of the times, just ahead of Jack Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing entry.

IndyCar GP Indy: Rossi leads Harvey in opening practice

Following the news that Max Chilton’s Carlin-Chevrolet won’t be taking part in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the car count in opening practice was further reduced when Alex Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda sprung a water leak and was towed back to the garage area.

Then Sebastien Bourdais’ AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet ground to a halt on its third lap due to an electrical problem, and therefore was penalized for five minutes having caused a red flag. That was a moot point, however, as he never returned to action.

Rinus VeeKay, who set his first pole position and scored his first podium at this venue in last October’s Harvest Grand Prix, sat at the top of the times for most of the session. The #21 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet turned a 70.0624sec 125.323mph on its fifth lap of the 14-turn, 2.439-mile track with Josef Newgarden’s Team Penske-Chevrolet sitting just 0.0019sec adrift – the pair of them 0.34sec clear of the field.

Then Alexander Rossi got within the same tenth, having earlier had a trip off road and then his #27 Andretti Autosport-Honda ducked under the 70sec barrier with a 69.8784 on his 11th lap.

Semi-teammate Jack Harvey, front-row starter here last year, went second quickest for Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, also getting down to a 69sec lap, while Colton Herta left it until his last lap to grab sixth, behind Romain Grosjean of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin made it two Team Penske-Chevrolets in seventh ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in the third Andretti car.

Graham Rahal survived a puncture and a spin to claim ninth but was unhappy with his car’s handling, while Conor Daly in the second ECR-Chevy claimed 10th.

Will Power, five-time IMS road course polesitter and four-time winner, was only 13th fastest but still ahead of championship leader and defending champion Scott Dixon.

Also looking uncharacteristically slow – relatively speaking – were the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolets of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. Their temporary teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya – who hasn’t started an IndyCar road course race since 2016 – was 0.6sec off Rosenqvist, and a couple of tenths ahead of NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson in the Ganassi-Honda. He took the checkered flag twice, so will be forced to sit out the first five minutes of second practice.

Second practice will begin at 1pm local (Eastern) time, with qualifying set to start at 4.45pm.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'09.878   125.653
2 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 17 1'09.964 0.086 125.498
3 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 20 1'10.062 0.184 125.323
4 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 15 1'10.064 0.185 125.319
5 France Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 17 1'10.158 0.280 125.151
6 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'10.225 0.346 125.032
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 21 1'10.304 0.426 124.891
8 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'10.435 0.557 124.659
9 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'10.474 0.595 124.590
10 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 14 1'10.499 0.621 124.545
11 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 14 1'10.510 0.631 124.527
12 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 13 1'10.554 0.675 124.449
13 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 13 1'10.704 0.826 124.184
14 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 14 1'10.725 0.847 124.147
15 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 11 1'10.729 0.850 124.141
16 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 13 1'10.772 0.894 124.065
17 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'10.800 0.922 124.015
18 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 11 1'10.813 0.934 123.994
19 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 18 1'10.864 0.985 123.905
20 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'10.965 1.087 123.728
21 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Arrow McLaren SP 13 1'11.483 1.604 122.831
22 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1'11.687 1.808 122.482
23 United States Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 4 1'12.200 2.322 121.612
24 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 3 1'30.866 20.988 96.629
25 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 0      
26 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 0      

 

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