Scott Dixon has continued his fine form in the lead up to this weekend’s Indy 500 qualifying by topping today’s six and a half hour second practice session.
The Kiwi set a thundering 226.102 mph lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the final hour which was punctuated by Fernando Alonso suffering a heavy crash at Turn 4.
With just over 45 minutes to go, the two-time Formula 1 world champion dipped his left-front wheel onto the inside apron at Turn 4 which careened him straight into the outside wall.
A fortunate Alonso escaped unharmed as he came to a gentle rest along the pitlane wall.
Until his crash, Alonso had set a mammoth 126 laps of the famed Indianapolis venue, the second highest tally of the day.
The McLaren SP team believed the car could be repaired in time for Friday practice and avoid using a backup car.
Despite the setback Alonso managed a lap in the 224mph range on just his second run which was good enough for sixth overall.
The goal for most in the day was to find a set-up that worked well in traffic as teams racked up significant lap numbers.
Before Dixon’s best lap, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda driver Takuma Sato’s benchmark lap of 225.693mph was set to top the session.
Dixon’s best lap came courtesy of a change in rear wing angle as Chip Ganassi continue to find the optimum setup. Sweltering temperatures also provided teams with the ability to test a myriad of wing setups and cooling package experiments.
Behind Sato, Marco Andretti took third, running his fastest lap just after the Alonso crash to finish the day one spot lower than where he placed yesterday.
Wildcard entry James Davison had a strong day to set the ninth fastest time, and later revealed he was combating second degree burns on his heel from a NASCAR Cup Series outing last weekend at Michigan.
Penske loaded their cars with sandbags for the day as all of the team’s cars were well off the pace but racked up a steady amount of laps and strong 30-lap average pace.
Helio Castroneves was the highest placed Penske in 16th, two spots ahead of Josef Newgarden. Will Power ended the session a lowly 23rd with Simon Pagenaud also down in 27th.
Practice resumes at 11am local time tomorrow for seven hours of running for Fast Friday, the last major session before qualifying.