TEAM PENSKE ENJOYS SOLID FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 12, 2012) – Team Penske got off to a solid start Saturday as preparations began for the 96th Indianapolis 500.
The Team’s three drivers recorded laps among the top 16 during the first day of practice for the race, completing a routine yet busy day with 99 laps among the three cars.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves led the way with a lap of 217.617 mph in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. That proved to be the seventh-fastest lap of the six-hour session, during which Castroneves completed 31 laps.
"The Shell Pennzoil car was really good today; it was a great start,” said Castroneves. “The three of us will continue to work together so we can get the best result both in qualifying and the race."
Will Power had the 14th-best lap of the day at 216.689 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, which completed 35 laps. The three-time race winner in 2012 was pleased with how the Verizon team began its preparations for the upcoming practice sessions.
"This was a good start for Verizon Team Penske,” said Power. “We did what we normally do to start the month of May and will head in the right direction with the car set up. Just a good first day."
Ryan Briscoe completed 35 laps in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet with a top lap of 216.472 mph, which ranked 16th-fastest on the day.
"Good first day in the IZOD car. It was the first time on the track in the new car and with the Chevy engine and things felt good,” said Briscoe. “We will start working through the changes and hopefully the car will keep responding well."
Team Penske is the most successful team in the history of the famous race with its 15 wins ranked highest among any team that has competed in the Indy 500. Power currently leads the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers’ standings after winning the previous three races of the 2012 season and he enters Indianapolis with a 45-point lead over teammate Castroneves.