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Practice report
IndyCar Indy 500

Indy 500: Sato top again, Grosjean survives multiple scares

Takuma Sato starred in Thursday practice ahead of this year's Indianapolis 500, going quickest ahead of the Fast Friday session - as fellow ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean had multiple moments.

Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Sato, who led practice on the opening day before Wednesday's running was called off due to rain, put the Dale Coyne Racing car on top of the speed charts with a lap of 227.519mph, just 39.5572s around the iconic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Endorsing the promise shown by the Coyne cars in traffic was his rookie teammate David Malukas in the Coyne with HMD car, who was third fastest on a 226.869mph lap.

The pair were split by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon on 227.335mph.

But much of the talk afterward was of the number of near-misses that Andretti Autosport's Romain Grosjean had with the SAFER barrier.

He had four lurid slides toward the wall at Turn 2 and one at Turn 4, every time while closely following four or more cars, and every time without intimidating himself – but causing his team to call him in. He ended the day 23rd in the timesheets.

Behind the top three were three more drivers in the 226mph zone. JR Hildebrand slotted his AJ Foyt Racing machinery into fourth with just five minutes to go, ahead of NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson who impressed again in the second fastest Ganassi, and turned the most laps (153).

Pato O’Ward was the second-fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in the Arrow McLaren SP. He was separated from his teammate Felix Rosenqvist by another Ganassi driver, Marcus Ericsson.

The 2019 Indy winner Simon Pagenaud took ninth for Meyer Shank Racing, while Ed Carpenter made ensured two of his team’s cars were in the Top 10.

While teams such as Ganassi and Andretti focused on race runs, Team Penske went for qualifying simulations, understandable given their disaster in qualifying for this race last year.

Although 2018 Indy winner Will Power was only 21st overall, he turned the fastest no-tow speed of 224.325mph.

Encouragingly for Chevrolet, his closest rivals for this honour were the ECR cars of Rinus VeeKay and Carpenter. Their team-mate Conor Daly was eighth, while Power’s teammates Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden were also in the top eight for no-tows.

The Honda interlopers in the no-tow Top 10 were Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, Devlin DeFrancesco and Colton Herta.

 

Results

P

No

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Team

1

51

Takuma Sato

39.5572

-

109

117

227.519

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

2

9

Scott Dixon

39.5891

0.0319

6

116

227.335

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

3

18

David Malukas

39.6705

0.1133

56

126

226.869

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

4

11

JR Hildebrand

39.6745

0.1173

97

107

226.846

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

5

48

Jimmie Johnson

39.7510

0.1938

116

153

226.409

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

5

Pato O'Ward

39.8146

0.2574

4

98

226.048

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

7

8

Marcus Ericsson

39.8342

0.2770

17

128

225.937

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

7

Felix Rosenqvist

39.8604

0.3032

6

102

225.788

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

9

60

Simon Pagenaud

39.8926

0.3354

92

104

225.606

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

10

33

Ed Carpenter

39.9125

0.3553

5

78

225.493

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

11

4

Dalton Kellett

39.9189

0.3617

134

137

225.457

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

12

21

Rinus VeeKay

39.9542

0.3970

8

92

225.258

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

13

30

Christian Lundgaard

39.9559

0.3987

88

93

225.248

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

14

45

Jack Harvey

39.9863

0.4291

50

87

225.077

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

15

98

Marco Andretti

40.0061

0.4489

3

92

224.966

Honda

Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco & Curb

16

26

Colton Herta

40.0128

0.4556

99

128

224.928

Honda

Andretti Autosport

17

3

Scott McLaughlin

40.0396

0.4824

5

51

224.777

Chevy

Team Penske

18

20

Conor Daly

40.0400

0.4828

49

84

224.775

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

19

14

Kyle Kirkwood

40.0428

0.4856

9

102

224.760

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

20

10

Alex Palou

40.0810

0.5238

104

122

224.545

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

21

12

Will Power

40.1204

0.5632

20

52

224.325

Chevy

Team Penske

22

06

Helio Castroneves

40.1250

0.5678

45

94

224.299

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

23

28

Romain Grosjean

40.1352

0.5780

92

117

224.242

Honda

Andretti Autosport

24

77

Callum Ilott

40.1742

0.6170

46

72

224.024

Chevy

Juncos Hollinger Racing

25

6

Juan Pablo Montoya

40.1754

0.6182

20

67

224.018

Chevy

Arrow McLaren SP

26

23

Santino Ferrucci

40.1932

0.6360

30

57

223.918

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold

27

15

Graham Rahal

40.2140

0.6568

62

75

223.803

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

28

27

Alexander Rossi

40.2403

0.6831

3

50

223.656

Honda

Andretti Autosport

29

1

Tony Kanaan

40.2503

0.6931

15

105

223.601

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

30

24

Sage Karam

40.2584

0.7012

27

31

223.556

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold

31

2

Josef Newgarden

40.2754

0.7182

16

57

223.461

Chevy

Team Penske

32

29

Devlin DeFrancesco

40.3239

0.7667

9

110

223.193

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

33

25

Stefan Wilson

40.5254

0.9682

11

110

222.083

Chevy

DragonSpeed/Cusick Motorsports

 

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