Indy 500: Rahal leads Dixon in opening practice

Graham Rahal put defending Indianapolis 500 winners Rahal Letterman Lanigan on top for the opening practice for the 105th running of the Indy 500 ahead of 2008 winner Scott Dixon.

Indy 500: Rahal leads Dixon in opening practice

Rahal lapped at 223.449mph, to marginally shade Chip Ganassi Racing’s six-time IndyCar champion Dixon, with rookie Scott McLaughlin heading up the Chevrolet-powered runners with third fastest in the #3 Penske entry.

Two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya produced the best speed for Arrow McLaren SP, ahead of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan driver Ed Jones, who finished third in his Indy 500 debut back in 2017.

2018 Indy 500 winner Will Power was sixth just ahead of series returnee Santino Ferrucci in the third RLL entry, this year’s Texas Motor Speedway winner Pato O’Ward, 2016 Indy 500 polesitter James Hinchcliffe, and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, in the second Meyer Shank Racing.

Three-time Indy 500 polesitter and local hero Ed Carpenter – runner-up in 2018 – was top of the no-tow speeds, ahead of O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson in the #8 Ganassi, defending race winner Takuma Sato and Jones.

The best Turn 1 trap speed was 230.150mph turned by Conor Daly in the #47 Ed Carpenter Racing, while pacesetter Rahal was the fastest down to Turn 3, at 232.306mph.

There were four caution periods for spitting rain that took a hefty 43-minute chunk out of the two-hour session which saw 32 cars in action, of which Power and Ericsson turned the most laps – 30.

Refreshers clear programme but more needed from rookie Enerson

JR Hildebrand and Stefan Wilson have completed their refresher tests for the 2021 Indy 500, but RC Enerson’s car suffered a mechanical failure while running his Rookie Orientation Programme.

Hildebrand, who is driving the #1 AJ Foyt Racing entry, was the first to complete his course, turning a fastest lap of 218.298mph.

Wilson required a little more time in the sixth Andretti Autosport car, as he had airflow issues with the top of his helmet, where he found the chinstrap cutting into his neck as the helmet lifted. However, race control allowed him to run his last seven laps of Phase 3 in the day’s final two-hour session, and he completed the required number of laps without issue.

Rookie Enerson was both lucky and unlucky. Driving for Top Gun Racing, he was in Phase 2 and looking fast and smooth, but pitted after 27 laps and the team discovered a split CV boot that had spat grease over the right-rear corner of the car. The team later indicated his day was over while they effect repairs.

Earlier in the two-hour session that was open to all participants, Foyt driver Sebastien Bourdais suffered a fire in the right-rear corner, bringing out the caution flags. The IndyCar veteran indicated that while the cause of the fire had not yet been verified, he was confident it wasn’t an engine failure, nor would it require an engine replacement.

Results

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

Gap

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

15

Graham Rahal

40.2776

40.2776

0.000

18

19

223.449

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

2

9

Scott Dixon

40.2829

0.0053

0.0053

9

20

223.420

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

3

Scott McLaughlin

40.3885

0.1109

0.1056

12

18

222.836

Chevy

Team Penske

4

86

Juan Pablo Montoya

40.3985

0.1209

0.0100

10

19

222.781

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

5

18

Ed Jones

40.4131

0.1355

0.0146

5

19

222.700

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

6

12

Will Power

40.4611

0.1835

0.0480

29

30

222.436

Chevy

Team Penske

7

45

Santino Ferrucci

40.5034

0.2258

0.0423

10

18

222.204

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

8

5

Pato O'Ward

40.5076

0.2300

0.0042

10

22

222.181

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

9

29

James Hinchcliffe

40.5423

0.2647

0.0347

11

11

221.990

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

10

06

Helio Castroneves

40.5660

0.2884

0.0237

6

19

221.861

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

11

47

Conor Daly

40.5988

0.3212

0.0328

10

17

221.681

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

12

24

Sage Karam

40.6637

0.3861

0.0649

21

26

221.328

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

13

48

Tony Kanaan

40.7421

0.4645

0.0784

8

10

220.902

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

14

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

40.7600

0.4824

0.0179

11

12

220.805

Honda

Andretti Autosport

15

26

Colton Herta

40.7863

0.5087

0.0263

10

12

220.662

Honda

Andretti Autosport

16

98

Marco Andretti

40.7930

0.5154

0.0067

18

21

220.626

Honda

Andretti Herta-Haupert w/Marco & Curb-Agajanian

17

10

Alex Palou

40.8164

0.5388

0.0234

11

18

220.500

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

18

14

Sebastien Bourdais

40.8402

0.5626

0.0238

7

15

220.371

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

19

8

Marcus Ericsson

40.8897

0.6121

0.0495

19

30

220.104

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

20

30

Takuma Sato

40.9077

0.6301

0.0180

4

18

220.007

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

21

21

Rinus VeeKay

40.9093

0.6317

0.0016

7

13

219.999

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

22

20

Ed Carpenter

40.9798

0.7022

0.0705

8

12

219.620

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

23

59

Max Chilton

41.0908

0.8132

0.1110

8

14

219.027

Chevy

Carlin

24

22

Simon Pagenaud

41.0970

0.8194

0.0062

15

17

218.994

Chevy

Team Penske

25

7

Felix Rosenqvist

41.1461

0.8685

0.0491

9

18

218.733

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

26

16

Simona De Silvestro

41.1929

0.9153

0.0468

8

10

218.484

Chevy

Paretta Autosport

27

27

Alexander Rossi

41.3382

1.0606

0.1453

4

11

217.716

Honda

Andretti Autosport

28

51

Pietro Fittipaldi

41.3649

1.0873

0.0267

19

28

217.576

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

29

2

Josef Newgarden

41.6471

1.3695

0.2822

3

11

216.101

Chevy

Team Penske

30

4

Dalton Kellett

10:30.376

590.0989

588.7294

1

2

14.277

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

 

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