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IndyCar Indy 500

Indy 500: Sato fastest in final Carb Day practice at over 227mph

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Takuma Sato set the fastest lap of over 227mph on Carb Day in the final practice session before the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Two-time Indy 500 winner Sato lapped the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in 39.4988s, a speed of 227.855mph.

In the final two hours of running before the Indy 500 race start, the track was filled with the 33 cars right from the green flag – although there were a couple of early yellows for track inspections.

Ahead of his final start in IndyCars, Tony Kaanan set the early pace for Arrow McLaren at 224.811mph straight out of the box, in perfect weather conditions and lighter winds than yesterday.

Alex Palou (Ganassi) produced 225.531mph to briefly snatch P1 before Romain Grosjean went to the top at 226.286mph for Andretti Autosport. Agustin Canapino raised the bar to 226.532mph in his Argentina-liveried Juncos Hollinger Racing, and then Scott Dixon beat that with 227.295mph.

Towards the end of the first hour, Fast Friday pacesetter Takuma Sato unleashed 227.855mph in race trim in the draft.

Dixon stayed second to make it a Ganassi 1-2, while Team Penske’s Will Power was third quickest at 226.953mph. Palou was fourth, ahead of Long Beach GP winner Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti), Canapino, Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta, Grosjean, Josef Newgarden (Penske) and his team-mate Scott McLaughlin.

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

It was an incident-packed session: Herta suffered a huge front-right lockup entering the pits which blew his tire. Marcus Ericsson (CGR) suffered a flapping sidepod that needed fixing, and Ryan Hunter-Reay was black-flagged for leaking gearbox fluid from his Dreyer and Reinbold car.

“It’s better it happened today than on race day, but we lost an hour of practice,” said Hunter-Reay. “It’s a shame they shut us down.”

Katherine Legge caused a yellow when the left-rear wheel nut came off her Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing just after the halfway point.

AJ Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci caused a stir when he passed Alexander Rossi (McLaren) in the short-chute pitlane as the green flag flew again. Rossi then repassed him into Turn 3 at over 230mph in a tit-for-tat move.

Devlin DeFrancesco then had a scare when the right-front tire of his Andretti-run car blew at Turn 2, and he did a great job to keep it out of the wall.

“I think it was just a cut tire, we were using an old set for pitstop practice,” he explained. “Definitely got my heart rate up! Happy to keep all four wheels on it, relatively.”

Front-row starter Rinus Veekay was slowest in his Ed Carpenter Racing entry and appeared to spend much of the session fuel saving, while Graham Rahal – subbing for the injured Stefan Wilson – was 30th for Cusick Motorsports/D&R.

The Indy 500 starts on Sunday at 12:45 pm local time.

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