Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti led the way in the opening practice session in his No.27 Snapple Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday as Honda and Chevrolet conducted a day of aero kit testing ahead of next month’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Andretti completed a total of 48 laps with his fastest time of the day a 40.2816s set a speed of 223.427mph ending the opening session just ahead of Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud.
Carlos Munoz was third fastest for Andretti Autosport completing 25 laps and ending the session just ahead of his Andretti Autosport team mate Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda.
Tony Kanaan was fifth fastest for the Chip Ganassi Racing setting a fastest time of 40.8527s at a speed of 220.304mph ending up just ahead of Team Penske duo Helio Castroneves and Will Power. Speaking about the test, Verizon IndyCar Series VP of competition, race engineering Bill Pappas commented by saying:
We ran through quite a bit of different combinations as part of the aero kit configuration test, The conditions weren’t ideal, but we did get a lot of information to go over and look through over the next couple of days to get ready for the month of May.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet was eighth fastest completing 26 laps and ending the session just ahead of team mate and team owner Ed Carpenter in the No.20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, completing 34 laps.
Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion and winner last time out at the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet rounded out the top ten with a fastest time of 40.9668s and speaking following the session, Dixon commented saying:
On the safety standpoint of the domed skid, it’s a big improvement, especially in the 90-degree yaw, We’ve got to look at safety before anything. Yes, it’s going to make the car maybe a little more difficult (to drive), but every car has a pedal and we have more downforce to put on to compensate for the loss.
Verizon Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya ended the session in 11th place just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Team’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Steak N’Shake Honda who set a fastest time of 41.2987s and speaking following the session, Rahal, who finished in fifth place in Phoenix stated:
It’s going to be interesting with these skids, for sure, It’s going to take some work to get them to where we need them to be to be raceable.
Charlie Kimball was 13th fastest just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe who commented by saying:
The good news is we all seem to be working toward the same thing, We are all genuinely trying to make a safer car but a car that still races well. I think there is a way to appease both sides of that argument. Hopefully by the time we show up here for practice week, we’ve found that compromise and everybody can be relatively happy.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato rounded out the order in 15th place.