Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Practice report
IndyCar Indy 500

Indy 500: Sato tops Fast Friday at 234mph

Takuma Sato set the fastest lap of 234mph on day three of practice ahead of the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, pointing to a mega-quick qualifying session this weekend.

Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Sato lapped the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in 38.3382s, a speed of 234.753mph, in his Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing car, ahead of Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport) and Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing).

Sato also topped the four-lap average speeds – which is how qualifying is decided – at 233.413mph set in the closing minutes of the session, ahead of CGR team-mate Marcus Ericsson and Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden.

Fast Friday means the BorgWarner turbos common to the Honda and Chevrolet engines were wound up from 1.3-bar boost to 1.5-bar, a level at which they’ll remain until the end of qualifying on Sunday evening. It meant a power boost of up to 100bhp over the previous running.

Weather conditions were bright and sunny, but a strong breeze pushed the cars hard into Turn 3 at over 240mph, although that meant a headwind towards Turn 1.

Kyle Kirkwood set the bar for Andretti Autosport with 232.649mph, going on to set a four-lap average of 231.739mph.

Pato O’Ward took over at the top for Arrow McLaren at 232.710mph but had to bail out on his qualifying run after a moment at Turn 3, after hitting over 243mph on the backstretch. Conor Daly just topped that with 232.723mph for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Sato then stole the show with a lap of 234.753mph before almost brushing the wall at Turn 2 and abandoning his qualifying sim. VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren) jumped to second and third around the same time, suggesting there was an aero benefit of having three fast cars on track together.

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Will Power went third for Team Penske in the second hour with an unassisted 233.212mph but, more importantly, his four-lap average was the fastest at that point with an incredibly consistent 232.474mph. His team-mate Scott McLaughlin beat him a little later with 233.347mph, but with a slightly slower average of 232.316mph.

Kirkwood then took the best four-lap average back with 232.616mph and leapt to third on the single-lap speed charts with 233.608mph, before VeeKay beat Kirkwood’s average with 232.898mph, with a 234.171mph fastest lap that was second-only to Sato at the time.

Newgarden then bested VeeKay’s four-lap average with 233.086mph in the final hour. “We had a disastrous first run today but we went away and worked on it,” he said. “We need to nail our runs tomorrow to get into the Sunday show.”

As the clock ticked down, Power backed up Newgarden’s four-lap speed with 233.070mph to go second, also going ahead of VeeKay.

Marco Andretti leapt to second overall with a lap of 234.202mph, while Ericsson briefly topped the four-lap chart with 233.113mph, before Sato beat that late on with a stellar 233.413mph average.

O’Ward produced 233.796mph for fifth overall, just ahead of Newgarden, but struggled on his four-lap run and was only 13th quickest on that chart.

Santino Ferrucci was seventh overall at 233.758mph for AJ Foyt Racing but had to wave off his qualifying run after two very quick tours.

Qualifying for the Indy 500 starts tomorrow at 11am local time, after another free practice session at 8:30am.

Indy 500 - Practice 5 results

P

No

Driver

Time

Diff

Interval

Speed

Engine

Team

1

11

Takuma Sato

38.3382

38.3382

--.----

234.753

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

98

Marco Andretti

38.4283

0.0901

0.0901

234.202

Honda

Andretti

3

21

Rinus VeeKay

38.4334

0.0952

0.0051

234.171

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

4

8

Marcus Ericsson

38.4568

0.1186

0.0234

234.029

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

5

5

Pato O'Ward

38.4951

0.1569

0.0383

233.796

Chevy

Arrow McLaren

6

2

Josef Newgarden

38.4999

0.1617

0.0048

233.767

Chevy

Team Penske

7

14

Santino Ferrucci

38.5013

0.1631

0.0014

233.758

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

8

27

Kyle Kirkwood

38.5260

0.1878

0.0247

233.608

Honda

Andretti Autosport

9

26

Colton Herta

38.5348

0.1966

0.0088

233.555

Honda

Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

10

9

Scott Dixon

38.5429

0.2047

0.0081

233.506

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

11

6

Felix Rosenqvist

38.5509

0.2127

0.0080

233.458

Chevy

Arrow McLaren

12

12

Will Power

38.5614

0.2232

0.0105

233.394

Chevy

Team Penske

13

3

Scott McLaughlin

38.5691

0.2309

0.0077

233.347

Chevy

Team Penske

14

10

Alex Palou

38.5822

0.2440

0.0131

233.268

Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing

15

55

Benjamin Pedersen

38.5939

0.2557

0.0117

233.197

Chevy

AJ Foyt Enterprises

16

7

Alexander Rossi

38.6044

0.2662

0.0105

233.134

Chevy

Arrow McLaren

17

66

Tony Kanaan

38.6106

0.2724

0.0062

233.097

Chevy

Arrow McLaren

18

20

Conor Daly

38.6288

0.2906

0.0182

232.987

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

19

28

Romain Grosjean

38.6363

0.2981

0.0075

232.942

Honda

Andretti Autosport

20

78

Agustin Canapino

38.6399

0.3017

0.0036

232.920

Chevy

Juncos Holling Racing

21

33

Ed Carpenter

38.6406

0.3024

0.0007

232.916

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

22

23

Ryan Hunter-Reay

38.6497

0.3115

0.0091

232.861

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

23

60

Simon Pagenaud

38.6939

0.3557

0.0442

232.595

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

24

24

Stefan Wilson

38.6981

0.3599

0.0042

232.570

Chevy

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

25

18

David Malukas

38.7320

0.3938

0.0339

232.366

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

26

29

Devlin DeFrancesco

38.7391

0.4009

0.0071

232.323

Honda

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

27

06

Helio Castroneves

38.7701

0.4319

0.0310

232.138

Honda

Meyer Shank Racing

28

51

Sting Ray Robb

38.8435

0.5053

0.0734

231.699

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

29

44

Katherine Legge

38.8904

0.5522

0.0469

231.420

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

30

50

RC Enerson

38.9203

0.5821

0.0299

231.242

Chevy

Abel Motorsports

31

30

Jack Harvey

38.9331

0.5949

0.0128

231.166

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

32

45

Christian Lundgaard

38.9353

0.5971

0.0022

231.153

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

33

15

Graham Rahal

39.0170

0.6788

0.0817

230.669

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

34

77

Callum Ilott

39.3113

0.9731

0.2943

228.942

Chevy

Juncos Hollinger Racing

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Ilott to change chassis for Indy 500 as new car “just wasn’t safe”
Next article How Indy 500 qualifying works: The two-day system in full

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe