Picking up where he left off back in 2007, Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais was quickest in Friday morning’s practice at Portland International Raceway.
With a best lap of 57.3975s, Bourdais just barely edged fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon (56.4221s) on the timesheets. Dixon was quickest in Thursday testing at the 1.964-mile road course.
Rounding out the top five laps of the day were Josef Newgarden at 57.5836s (with 16 laps completed), Marco Andretti in P4 with a quick lap of 57.7114s (18 laps completed) and Team Penske’s Will Power at 57.7663s (17 laps completed).
Rookie driver Jordan King (Ed Carpenter Racing) was sixth-fastest at 57.7873s while championship contender Alexander Rossi came in at seventh-quick (57.7892s).
With this being the first IndyCar race at the facility in over a decade (Champ Car last visited the track in 2007), rookies took advantage of the level playing field by placing four of the six newcomers to the series inside the top-12.
While King was 6th for ECR, Zach Veach (57.9762s) continued his fine form recently by placing 10th on the timesheets for Andretti Autosport.
The only Andretti driver that couldn’t crack the top-10 was Ryan Hunter-Reay, placing 15th with a quick lap of 58.0898s.
Jack Harvey had a strong run as a “rookie” this morning, coming in 11th for Michael Shank Racing with a best lap of 57.9806s for the part-time entry.
Santino Ferrucci, once again back with Dale Coyne Racing, was strong as well by slotting in at 12th-fastest with a lap time of 57.9969s.
Making his first appearance on a road course in 2018, Carlos Munoz was buried down in 22nd for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Driving the vacated No. 6 Lucas Oil Honda in place of the injured Robert Wickens, Munoz banked 17 laps in trying to learn the challenging Portland circuit.
No driver clicked off more laps, though, than A.J. Foyt Racing rookie Matheus Leist. Despite ranking only 20th on the time charts (58.3772s), Leist tallied a remarkable 28 laps in the 45-minute session. The next closest drivers in terms of laps completed were Rossi and Gabby Chaves (P17, 58.1265) with 21 laps under their belts.
In total, 441 laps were completed by 24 different competitors. Seven Honda entries littered the top-10 while three Chevy drivers (Newgarden, Power and King) were scattered among the ten quickest times.
Second practice of the weekend will kick off this afternoon at 5:35 p.m. ET with coverage live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
Header image by James Black/INDYCAR.