Today, all 35 cars recorded times at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After not practicing yesterday, A.J. Foyt Racing’s rookie Matheus Leist made it out on to the track. Dale Coyne Racing’s Pippa Mann was also able to get enough track time early in the seven-hour session to complete her veteran refresher program.
Here’s a recap of today’s on-track precedings below, followed by some of the headlines in the lead-up to the 102nd Indianapolis 500 on May 27.
While Team Penske and Chevrolet dominated the top of the speed charts during opening practice on Tuesday, Wednesday saw a few different teams with solid runs.
Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti led a Honda sweep of the top four. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year ran a best lap of 227.053 MPH, the only driver to top 227 in any practice so far. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) and Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) completed the engine manufacturer’s sweep of the top four.
Carlin Racing’s Charlie Kimball was the fastest Chevrolet of the afternoon. Kimball was fifth at 225.887 MPH. Joining Kimball in the top eight were Chevrolet teammates Tony Kanaan (A.J. Foyt Racing), Gabby Chaves (Harding Racing) and Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing).
As has been the case, the top speeds were recorded in the draft. Tow-assisted speeds have become a statistic of interest, here’s a look at the top no-tow speed from Wednesday’s practice. One interesting note is that Chevrolet dominated the top of the no-tow chart, in contrast with Honda showing some of the top speeds in the overall results.
No-Tow Speeds for May 16 Practice
- Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 223.048 MPH
- Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 222.754 MPH
- Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 220.931 MPH
- Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 222.147 MPH
- Alexander Rossi, Honda, 222.139 MPH
- Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 221.705 MPH
Despite Andretti Autosport leading the way for the Honda teams, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing also turned in an impressive performance as Takuma Sato posted the fourth-best time of the session, while Oriol Servia (running for Scuderia Corsa in collaboration with RLLR) ended the day in ninth.
For Chevrolet, the most impressive team performance was that of the Ed Carpenter Racing trio. Danica Patrick, Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot were all in the top fifteen, the only multi-car team to achieve such a feat.
Although the top speeds were turned in primarily by full-time Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. Servia, along with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam led the way for part-timer and one-off drivers (Servia and Karam both fall in the latter category).
It was 2016 ‘500 pole sitter James Hinchcliffe that logged the most laps (129). Along with Hinchcliffe, 14 other drivers recorded 100 or more laps. Matheus Leist was the driver that completed the fewest, with just 59 logged today. In total, there were 3,349 laps logged today and 5,610 laps this month.
With the discrepancies between the practice leaderboards on the first two days, it has been difficult to get a feel for who may be fastest when this weekend rolls around and the field is set for the race. Nine different teams had cars in the top ten on Wednesday and the 35 cars were separated by just .9346 seconds and no-tow speeds saw the first and last cars spaced out by 1.103 seconds.
Thursday, teams will again be on track for day three of Indianapolis 500 practice. The seven-hour session will be the last practice until May 21 that will have teams using the boost level (130 kPa) for race day. “Fast Friday” practice on May 18 will see the 35 cars run at an increased boost (140 kPa), which will also be used for qualifications on May 19 and 20.
Practice begins at 11:00 a.m. Eastern and will run throughout the day until 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Fans can visit the track to watch practice with gates opening at 10:00 a.m. Those who would like to watch from home can catch a stream plus timing and scoring of the event at RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for the latest from Indianapolis as we prepare for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.
Images courtesy of Jim Haines/INDYCAR.