Houston IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud tops red flag-strewn practice
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, June 27th 2014, 20:45 GMT|
Simon Pagenaud finished the opening day of practice for this weekend's IndyCar double-header in Houston on top.
The Frenchman consistently lowered his time through the second session before settling on a fastest lap of 1m00.1415s.
Pagenaud moved into P1 with a little over half an hour still to run and chipped away at his own benchmark to ultimately reduce his fastest lap by almost 0.7 seconds, keeping him clear of all of his rivals.
Ryan Briscoe came closest and the Ganassi driver made a late improvement that still left him 0.5s down on Pagenaud, while Luca Filippi wasted no time in clearing the rust from his 10-month break by finishing up third-fastest.
A trip into the wall in the final minute by Jack Hawksworth forced the session to end under red flags and gave his Bryan Herta Autosport team a little additional work to do ahead of the first qualifying session and race on Saturday.
His crash caused the final of three stoppages during the afternoon, with the first having come when Mikhail Aleshin spun and stalled and the second when Tony Kanaan took too much of the kerbing at Turns 1 and 2 with similar results.
The session was capped by a 10-minute standing start rehearsal, in which the drivers were sent out in small groups to make simulated starts in the hopes of avoiding the chaos that marred the start of the race on the Indianapolis road course.
All cars managed to launch successfully.
Pos Driver Team/Engine Time Gap 1. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1m00.1425s 2. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy 1m00.6428s +0.5013s 3. Luca Filippi Rahal/Honda 1m00.6735s +0.5320s 4. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 1m00.6905s +0.5490s 5. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda 1m00.7031s +0.5616s 6. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda 1m00.7577s +0.6162s 7. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 1m00.7610s +0.6195s 8. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy 1m00.8632s +0.7217s 9. Will Power Penske/Chevy 1m00.8662s +0.7247s 10. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda 1m00.9854s +0.8439s 11. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 1m00.9989s +0.8574s 12. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda 1m01.1412s +0.9997s 13. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy 1m01.1887s +1.0472s 14. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda 1m01.1977s +1.0562s 15. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy 1m01.2047s +1.0632s 16. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy 1m01.2273s +1.0858s 17. Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 1m01.3479s +1.2064s 18. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 1m01.4330s +1.2915s 19. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy 1m01.5395s +1.3980s 20. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda 1m01.5678s +1.4263s 21. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1m01.6742s +1.5327s 22. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy 1m02.1167s +1.9752s 23. Mike Conway Carpenter/Chevy 1m02.2192s +2.0777s
All drivers use Dallara chassis