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Road America IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud leads practice one for Penske

IndyCar championship leader Simon Pagenaud set the pace for Team Penske in opening practice for Sunday's race at Road America

The French driver, who has an 80-point lead over Scott Dixon in the standings, set the early pace before improving his time to a 1m43.480s in the closing stages of the 75-minute session.

IndyCar racing returns to Road America this weekend after an eight-year absence for top-level American single-seater racing at the venue.

Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz and AJ Foyt driver Jack Hawksworth made late improvements during first practice to move up to second and third.

Scott Dixon finished under half a second down on Pagenaud's quickest time, with Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Tony Kanaan completing the top five.

Marco Andretti and Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi were sixth and seventh, ahead of James Hinchcliffe.

Graham Rahal finished ninth despite an early electrical issue with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara-Honda.

Josef Newgarden returned to action just two weeks after being injured in a high-speed crash at Texas Motor Speedway, when he suffered fractures to his right clavicle and right wrist in a heavy crash with Conor Daly.

Newgarden was given permission to take part in practice but will undergo further tests afterwards.

He finished in 10th place and completed the most laps during the session, with 15.

Pagenaud's Penske team-mates Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Helio Castroneves found themselves down in 11th, 12th and 16th.

Montoya was one of several drivers to spin during the session at Turn 12.

The last Champ Car race in 2007 was won by current KSVH Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais, who finished down in 15th place in first practice.

The first session took place under sunny Wisconsin skies, with drivers reporting high tyre wear.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m43.4804s - 11
2 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m43.5560s 0.0756s 12
3 Jack Hawksworth AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1m43.6747s 0.1943s 15
4 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m43.8849s 0.4045s 15
5 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.1246s 0.6442s 9
6 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m44.1296s 0.6492s 14
7 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m44.2805s 0.8001s 14
8 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m44.2812s 0.8008s 14
9 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m44.3037s 0.8233s 9
10 Josef Newgarden Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.4318s 0.9514s 15
11 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.5035s 1.0231s 13
12 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.5234s 1.0430s 16
13 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m44.5473s 1.0669s 9
14 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.6766s 1.1962s 13
15 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.6940s 1.2136s 14
16 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.8184s 1.3380s 9
17 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m44.9057s 1.4253s 10
18 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1m44.9381s 1.4577s 16
19 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m45.0189s 1.5385s 17
20 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m45.3892s 1.9088s 14
21 Gabby Chaves Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m45.7856s 2.3052s 16
22 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m46.0191s 2.5387s 14


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