IndyCar GP Indy: Rossi tops opening practice ahead of Harvey

Alexander Rossi put his Andretti Autosport-Honda on top of the times in first practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, just ahead of Jack Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing entry.

IndyCar GP Indy: Rossi tops opening practice ahead of Harvey

Rinus VeeKay, who took his first IndyCar pole position and scored his first podium at the same venue last October, sat at the top of the times for most of the session.

The #21 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet turned a 1m10.0624s on its fifth lap of the 14-turn, 2.439-mile track with Josef Newgarden’s Team Penske-Chevrolet sitting just 0.0019sec adrift – the pair of them 0.34sec clear of the field.

Rossi got within the same tenth, having earlier had a trip off road, before his #27 Andretti Autosport-Honda ducked under the 1m10s barrier with a 1m09.8784s on his 11th lap.

Harvey, front-row starter at the venue last year, went second quickest in his Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, also getting down to a sub-69s lap, while Colton Herta left it until his last lap to grab sixth, behind Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing) in fifth.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin made it two Team Penske-Chevrolets in seventh ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in the third Andretti car.

Graham Rahal survived a puncture and a spin to claim ninth but was unhappy with his car’s handling, while Conor Daly in the second ECR-Chevy claimed 10th.

Will Power, five-time IMS road course polesitter and four-time winner, was only 13th fastest but still ahead of championship leader and defending champion Scott Dixon.

Also looking uncharacteristically slow were the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolets of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. Their temporary team-mate, Juan Pablo Montoya – who hasn’t started an IndyCar road course race since 2016 – was 0.6sec off Rosenqvist, but a couple of tenths ahead of ex-NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson in the Ganassi-Honda. He took the checkered flag twice, so will be forced to sit out the first five minutes of second practice.

Following Max Chilton’s Carlin-Chevrolet withdrawal from the weekend, the car count in opening practice was further reduced when Alex Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda sprung a water leak and was towed back to the garage area.

Sebastien Bourdais’ AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet ground to a halt on its third lap due to an electrical problem, and therefore was penalised for five minutes having caused a red flag. That was a moot point, however, as he never returned to action.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis - Practice 1

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 12 1'09.878  
2 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 17 1'09.964 0.086
3 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 20 1'10.062 0.184
4 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 15 1'10.064 0.185
5 France Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 17 1'10.158 0.280
6 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'10.225 0.346
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 21 1'10.304 0.426
8 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 15 1'10.435 0.557
9 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'10.474 0.595
10 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 14 1'10.499 0.621
11 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 14 1'10.510 0.631
12 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 13 1'10.554 0.675
13 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 13 1'10.704 0.826
14 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 14 1'10.725 0.847
15 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 11 1'10.729 0.850
16 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 13 1'10.772 0.894
17 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'10.800 0.922
18 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 11 1'10.813 0.934
19 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 18 1'10.864 0.985
20 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 14 1'10.965 1.087
21 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Arrow McLaren SP 13 1'11.483 1.604
22 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 1'11.687 1.808
23 United States Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 4 1'12.200 2.322
24 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 3 1'30.866 20.988
25 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 0    
26 United Kingdom Max Chilton United Kingdom Carlin 0    
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