Scott Dixon’s sublime week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has continued as the Iceman finished second in the final practice session – dubbed ‘Carb Day’ – before Monday morning’s Indy 500.
The session was headed by Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward who set a 225.355 mph average to soar his Chevrolet-powered machine to the top of the timesheets, the first time the American manufacturer has topped a session at Indy this year.
The Mexican’s time was the only anomaly amid a Honda charge as Chevrolet-powered cars struggled to match the pace of their rivals.
The final two-hour session gives drivers their last chance to experiment with race trim setups before the great race.
Dixon, who will line-up on the front row come Monday, looked impressive as the Kiwi swiftly worked his way through a profusion of traffic. The Chip Ganassi Racer set a solid 224.646 mph with two fellow ex-Indy 500 winners Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato close behind.
The second Arrow McLaren SP entry of Oliver Askew finished fifth though it was a less impressive session for the third car of Fernando Alonso.
The two-time world champion was only 23rd today and will start the race down in 26th. However, Alonso did spend large portions of the day practising pitstops and running in traffic which nullified his potential best time.
While competitive, Honda’s Achilles Heel over the last few Indy 500s has been reliability, something Chip Ganassi focused on with Dixon’s teammate Marcus Ericsson who racked up 105 laps in the space of two-hours on his way to eighth fastest. The Swede also set the best 30-lap average of the day.
Just ahead of the ex-F1 driver in seventh was the lead Penske of Josef Newgarden who believes his team’s woeful qualifying session does not represent their ultimate race pace.
Teammates Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Will Power were 14th, 17th and 24th quickest respectively.