Patrick Tops Rookie Orientation

Danica Patrick topped Rookie Orientation on the opening day of practice for this year's Indianapolis 500

Patrick Tops Rookie Orientation

The Rahal Letterman driver lapped the 2.5-mile oval in 40.6388 seconds at an average speed of 221.463 mph.

Patrick will attempt to become the fourth woman to start the famous race, but credited last year's winner Buddy Rice as the reason she could be so quick straight away.

"I'm sure things will get more tricky as the car gets trimmed out," she said. "I was given a good car thanks to all of the hard work that my teammates did last year. I have to give a lot of the credit and speed to that."

"It's really nice that we get to come here early, and build confidence, as opposed to going out there and spooking ourselves and making a mistake that could put us out for a while."

Patrick was one of seven drivers to successfully complete all four stages of the test. Also passing were Ryan Briscoe, Jeff Bucknum, Patrick Carpentier, Paul Dana and Tomas Enge.

Scott Mayer and Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais will complete their test today before official practice begins tomorrow.

Bourdais said: "For a Champ Car operation, it's difficult to put together an IRL car. The car was not ready on time, and the deal came together kind of late, so it was difficult for the team.

"We completed the first two phases. My car wasn't ready and the T-car was in better shape, so we used it. The weather is going to be all right for us to complete the test and we can get some work done."

Passed Rookie Orientation:

Pos Driver Chassis-Engine Speed 1. Danica Patrick Panoz Honda 221.463 mph 2. Ryan Briscoe Panoz Toyota 220.546 mph 3. Patrick Carpentier Dallara Toyota 219.010 mph 4. Tomas Enge Dallara Chevy 218.219 mph 5. Larry Foyt Dallara Toyota 216.141 mph 6. Jeff Bucknum Dallara Honda 214.657 mph 7. Paul Dana Dallara Toyota 211.786 mph 8. Scott Mayer Dallara Toyota 206.947 mph * 9. Sebastien Bourdais Panoz Honda 204.177 mph * * Yet to complete Rookie programme. 
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