Pagenaud tops opening day of Indy 500 practice
Simon Pagenaud was the only driver to break 40 seconds on the first day of practice for the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
The #22 Team Penske Chevrolet was the fastest car in the first, two-hour session of the day, lapping Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 39.8605s for an average speed of 225.787mph (363.369km/h).
Team-mate Helio Castroneves (#3 Chevrolet) ended the day second-fastest having paced the field in the three-hour session which closed out Day 1 with a best time just under 0.2s adrift of the Frenchman’s.
Castroneves edged oval specialist Ed Carpenter (#20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet), with the top five rounded out by one-off driver Jay Howard (#7 Schmidt Peterson Honda) and Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Honda).
Carpenter recorded the fastest non-tow speed of the day in that afternoon session at an average 221.512mph (356.489km/h).
James Davison (#33 Foyt w/ Byrd-Hollinger-Belardi Chevrolet) was 13th-fastest on his return to IndyCar, one position ahead of 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda).
Team Penske’s other two pilots, Josef Newgarden (#1 Chevrolet) and Will Power (#12 Chevrolet), were 15th- and 19th-fastest respectively.
They and Pagenaud were the only three drivers whose personal bests came in the opening session of the day.
Zachary Claman DeMelo, who has been named as the replacement for the injured Pietro Fittipaldi, completed rookie orientation in the middle two-hour session which was also used for refreshers.
He set a time good enough to put him 31st in the 35-car field on his first day in an IndyCar on the Brickyard speedway.
The event continues from Wednesday at 1100 local time (Thursday 0100 AEST) with a standard seven hours of practice.
Highlights: Practice: Day 1
Results: Practice: Day 1
|Pos||Num||Driver||C/E/T||Time||Avg speed (mph)||Total laps|
|16||6||Robert Wickens (R)||D/H/F||0:40.3347||223.133||52|
|31||19||Zachary Claman DeMelo (R)||D/H/F||0:40.7076||221.089||16|
|32||32||Kyle Kaiser (R)||D/C/F||0:40.7781||220.707||45|