Texas IndyCar: Wickens, Kanaan top opening practice

In his first encounter with Texas Motor Speedway, Robert Wickens put Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda on top in first practice, precisely equaling the speed Tony Kanaan set just a little earlier in the session for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet.

Texas IndyCar: Wickens, Kanaan top opening practice

The first half-hour of the 90min session was dedicated to scrubbing in four sets of Firestones, under IndyCar decree, as IndyCar examined the effect of the 2018 superspeedway aerokit which has been revised since the Indy 500. Apex speed and terminal speed is now varying 10-11mph, a welcome relief for drivers who did not enjoy the flat-out pack race seen here last year using manufacturer aerokits.

Wickens (and Kanaan) lapped the course 1.44-mile oval at 220.014mph, and also looked swift in the no-tow speeds – fourth and sixth respectively – indicating a potentially strong qualifying session mid-afternoon.

Sebastien Bourdais was third fastest for Dale Coyne Racing Honda – although only P21 without a tow – with Alexander Rossi leading the Andretti Autosport-Honda contingent in fourth.

Gabby Chaves, who in the Harding Racing team’s second ever IndyCar race here last year finished fifth, looked strong again with fifth fastest overall and 10th without a tow.

Fastest of all without a tow was Scott Dixon, whose Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda scored his first win of the season at Detroit last week.

Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and defending TMS winner Will Power were only seventh, ninth and 15th for Penske Chevrolet and were all over the shop in terms of no-tow – 18th, 3rd and 9th, respectively.

Max Chilton missed much of the tire-scrubbing portion of practice, as his Carlin-Chevy needed its throttle body replaced.

IndyCar, Texas free practice 1

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 6 canada  Robert Wickens  58 23.5621     220.014
2 14 brazil  Tony Kanaan  59 23.5621 0.0000 0.0000 220.014
3 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  69 23.6045 0.0424 0.0424 219.619
4 27 united_states  Alexander Rossi  70 23.6329 0.0708 0.0284 219.355
5 88 colombia  Gabby Chaves  59 23.6643 0.1022 0.0314 219.064
6 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  62 23.6707 0.1086 0.0064 219.005
7 22 france  Simon Pagenaud  64 23.6866 0.1245 0.0159 218.858
8 98 united_states  Marco Andretti  59 23.7291 0.1670 0.0425 218.466
9 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  54 23.7624 0.2003 0.0333 218.160
10 10 united_arab_emirates  Ed Jones  62 23.7892 0.2271 0.0268 217.914
11 30 japan  Takuma Sato  57 23.7971 0.2350 0.0079 217.842
12 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  79 23.8223 0.2602 0.0252 217.611
13 23 united_states  Charlie Kimball  66 23.8257 0.2636 0.0034 217.580
14 26 united_states  Zach Veach  60 23.8321 0.2700 0.0064 217.522
15 12 australia  Will Power  71 23.8659 0.3038 0.0338 217.214
16 20 united_states  Ed Carpenter  57 23.8956 0.3335 0.0297 216.944
17 21 united_states  Spencer Pigot  72 23.9710 0.4089 0.0754 216.261
18 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  43 24.0047 0.4426 0.0337 215.958
19 19 canada  Zachary Claman De Melo  53 24.1106 0.5485 0.1059 215.009
20 15 united_states  Graham Rahal  74 24.1250 0.5629 0.0144 214.881
21 4 brazil  Matheus Leist  79 24.4132 0.8511 0.2882 212.344
22 59 united_kingdom  Max Chilton  51 24.4822 0.9201 0.0690 211.746
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