A flurry of on-track activity in the closing stages of IndyCar’s sole practice session for tomorrow’s GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis has seen Penske’s Will Power stand aloft at the head of the timesheets.
Power set 30 laps in total during the 90-minute session with the fastest time of a 1.09.9487s to the end up 0.1755s faster than Dale Coyne Racing’s Santino Ferrucci.
Marcus Ericsson would lead the Chip Ganassi prepared trio with the Swede’s best lap time good enough for third fastest. His teammates Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist would finish 5th and 8th respectively.
The talk of the day was the weather at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as drivers were forced to battle 35-degree plus ambient temperatures with similarly hot conditions expected for qualifying and the race.
“It’s hot man, and it’s going to be a tough race in that respect,” said Power. “ I Started the session pretty far off and got it in the window. Hopefully we can go for pole.”
While Dixon was a notable omission from the top of the timesheets, the championship leader was consistently in the top-five in race and qualifying simulations, suggesting the Kiwi is a real threat for victory this weekend.
The session wasn’t entirely clean with Ferruci and Ryan Hunter-Reay collecting each other at Turn 7 with the Andretti driver failing to see a charging Ferruci while warming his tyres only for the two to clash.
Marco Andretti didn’t fare too much better in the sister Andretti entry when he spun in the early stages of the session, eventually finishing 14th fastest. While James Hinchcliffe made it three Andretti-prepared cars to explore the limits of his car with a spin in the final few minutes.
The final red flag came when Sage Karam stalled his Chevrolet-powered Dreyer & Reinbold entry and proved to be a headache to recover due to issues attempting to re-fire the car.
The 26-strong field will now set their sights on qualifying with the first group slated to get underway from 8.30 am NZT today.