Andretti flies on Fast Friday with quickest Indy 500 lap since 1996

Marco Andretti

IndyCar Series veteran Marco Andretti ended Fast Friday in top spot as Honda remained at the front ahead of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

Andretti set a blistering pace early in the six-and-a-half-hour session, with the Andretti Herta Autosport entry clocked at 233.491 mph (375.767 km/h), albeit with the help of an aerodynamic tow.

Such was Andretti’s speed on his 233 mph lap, that it was the best recorded on Fast Friday since 1996 when Arie Luyendyk fired in a 239.260 mph (385.052 km/h) lap.

Track conditions played a key role in proceedings, with afternoon heat hindering efforts to get a consistent four-lap average.

Teams have received a turbo boost up from 1.3-bar to 1.5-bar to prepare for this weekend’s qualifying, although Andretti and second-placed Conor Daly’s (232.337 mph, 373.910 km/h) laps were tow-assisted and set in the cooler morning conditions.

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest (232.124 mph, 373.567 km/h) on the day without a tow.

Series leader Scott Dixon, who topped the timesheets on Thursday, was second (232.027mph, 373.411 km/h) among non-tow assisted times ahead of Alexander Rossi (231.859 mph, 373.141 km/h), Andretti (231.754 mph, 372.972 km/h), and Marcus Ericsson (231.488 mph, 372.544 km/h).

Critically, Honda-powered entries recorded the top nine non-tow speeds, with A.J. Foyt Racing’s Charlie Kimball the first Chevrolet runner in 10th.

Will Power clocked the best speed of the day for Team Penske but was still only 11th, while Fernando Alonso – who crashed late in Thursday’s running – was down in 25th.

Australian James Davison was one spot lower in 26th aboard his Rick Ware Racing/Byrd/Belardi entry.

Cars will return to the track for a one-hour practice session at 22:30 AEST on Saturday (08:30 Saturday, local time) before qualifying gets underway at 01:00 AEST Sunday (11:00 Saturday, local time).

CLICK HERE for Practice 3 results

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