Castroneves fastest in Indy 500 practice, Ed Carpenter second

Tom Errington
Autosport
Castroneves fastest in Indy 500 practice
Castroneves fastest in Indy 500 practice

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves set the fastest speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an afternoon practice session disrupted by the threat of lightning.

The Penske driver made his racing return to IndyCar at last weekend's Indianapolis road course event, where he finished sixth, ahead of his attempt to win a fourth Indy 500.

Castroneves was able to set the fastest time with and without a tow on track, as IndyCar teams began drafting at Indy for the first time as the field learns how the new 2018 aerodynamic package behaves on the superspeedway in race-like conditions.

The Brazilian set his best lap speed of 224.665mph inside the final hour after running was delayed for half an hour due to lightning in the vicinity of the track, adding to earlier brief delays for spots of rain.

Despite fears that the conditions would lead to team's ending their running early, the majority of the day's fastest lap speeds were set in the final hour.

Ed Carpenter was second quickest for his namesake team, trailing Castroneves' benchmark by 0.124mph.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' one-off entrant Jay Howard was third, narrowly holding off a late improvement from Scott Dixon in the final minutes.

Marco Andretti had been second on the timesheets ahead of the frantic final hour but he slipped to fifth late on.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Sage Karam was sixth ahead of Carlin man Charlie Kimball.

Gabby Chaves made it five Chevrolet-powered cars in the top 10 with eighth for Harding Racing, ahead of Andretti duo Zach Veach and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Simon Pagenaud had topped the morning's earlier practice session in a Penske 1-2-3 ahead of Castroneves and Newgarden, aided by a tow from Will Power.

But Pagenaud was just 14th in the afternoon, ahead of Robert Wickens (SPM) and Dale Coyne Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing had impressed in the first practice session with Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal, who were the quickest drivers without a tow in the early running, but it ended the afternoon with Sato pulling off track with a problem in the final minutes.

Danica Patrick ended the day in 18th place, with Penske's Power, Newgarden and 2016 Indy 500 winner Rossi down in 22nd, 23rd and 26th respectively.

Zachary Claman de Melo completed his rookie orientation programme just hours after the Indy Lights graduate was confirmed as the replacement for the injured Pietro Fittipaldi for the Indy 500.

Andretti's Stefan Wilson, who stepped out of a drive for last year's race so the team could run Fernando Alonso, passed his veteran refresher test.

Oriol Servia, in the RLLR-prepared Scuderia Corsa-affiliated car, also passed the refresher test, as did AJ Foyt Racing's James Davison - a late stand-in for the injured Sebastien Bourdais last year.

Conor Daly was able to make the track in the final minutes after DCR had been preparing his car through the day, meaning Foyt's Matheus Leist was the only driver not to lap the Indy 500 venue.

Tuesday practice times

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Speed

Time

Laps

1

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

224.665

40.0597s

38

2

Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

224.523

40.0850s

39

3

Jay Howard

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

224.518

40.0858s

69

4

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

224.353

40.1153s

33

5

Marco Andretti

Andretti Herta

Dallara/Honda

224.217

40.1397s

36

6

Sage Karam

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

223.998

40.1790s

60

7

Charlie Kimball

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

223.921

40.1928s

35

8

Gabby Chaves

Harding Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

223.640

40.2433s

29

9

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

223.551

40.2592s

45

10

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

223.488

40.2707s

66

11

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

223.398

40.2868s

38

12

James Davison

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

223.346

40.2963s

21

13

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

223.305

40.3037s

49

14

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

223.284

40.3074s

57

15

Robert Wickens

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

223.133

40.3347s

52

16

Sebastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

222.960

40.3659s

46

17

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

222.848

40.3863s

39

18

Danica Patrick

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

222.728

40.4080s

39

19

Carlos Munoz

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

222.701

40.4130s

50

20

Oriol Servia

Scuderia Corsa

Dallara/Honda

222.697

40.4137s

17

21

Stefan Wilson

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

222.524

40.4451s

36

22

Will Power

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

222.495

40.4504s

48

23

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

222.471

40.4548s

68

24

J.R. Hildebrand

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

222.256

40.4938s

38

25

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

221.900

40.5589s

31

26

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

221.852

40.5675s

35

27

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

221.671

40.6007s

64

28

Jack Harvey

Michael Shank Racing

Dallara/Honda

221.500

40.6321s

67

29

Tony Kanaan

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

221.412

40.6482s

12

30

Max Chilton

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

221.311

40.6668s

30

31

Zachary Claman

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

221.089

40.7076s

16

32

Kyle Kaiser

Juncos Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

220.707

40.7781s

45

33

Conor Daly

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

215.926

41.6809s

9

34

Pippa Mann

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

214.731

41.9130s

19

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