Jay Howard caused a surprise as the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver set the fastest time seen so far this week around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to top day four of practice on Thursday.
Racing in an IndyCar for the first time since 2011, the British driver showed that the speed is still there as he topped the time sheets with a lap of 226.744mph, almost a full mile per hour faster than second placed Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Hunter-Reay led a trio of Andretti Autosport drivers, with the former series champion and 2014 Indy 500 champion finishing ahead of team-mates Marco Andretti and Fernando Alonso, the latter continuing to impress as he adapts to ovals and IndyCar.
Josef Newgarden ended the day fifth fastest but became the second driver this month to hit the wall, losing control of his #2 Team Penske car during his thirty-sixth lap and causing extensive damage. He was lucky to be avoided by those following him, but he was taken to the medical centre but quickly cleared to resume track action, although he did not return to the track on Thursday due to the damage.
Sage Karam was sixth fastest for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball, with the two American drivers the last of those to set a lap above 225mph on the day.
Oriol Servia was eighth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato, while Sebastien Bourdais completed the top ten for Dale Coyne Racing despite appearing to have an engine issue midway through the session, causing a caution period while his car was recovered and the oil he dropped on the track was cleared up.
For the first time this week, Buddy Lazier took to the track, albeit for one installation lap, but it meant that all thirty-three drivers have now seen some action ahead of Fast Friday and the weekend qualifying sessions.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Practice 4 Result
|1||77||Jay Howard||GBR||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||39.6924s|
|2||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||39.8537s|
|3||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||39.8743s|
|4||29||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren Honda Andretti||39.8902s|
|5||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||39.9193s|
|6||24||Sage Karam||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||39.9671s|
|7||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||39.9750s|
|8||16||Oriol Servia||ESP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||40.0290s|
|9||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||40.0408s|
|10||18||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing||40.0490s|
|11||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||40.0693s|
|12||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||40.0779s|
|13||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||40.0885s|
|14||22||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||40.0942s|
|15||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||40.1057s|
|16||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||40.1091s|
|17||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||40.1157s|
|18||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||40.1193s|
|19||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||40.1264s|
|20||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||40.1695s|
|21||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||40.2175s|
|22||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||40.2487s|
|23||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||40.2793s|
|24||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||40.3365s|
|25||63||Pippa Mann||GBR||Dale Coyne Racing||40.3501s|
|26||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||40.4185s|
|27||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||40.4277s|
|28||40||Zach Veach||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||40.4562s|
|29||50||Jack Harvey||GBR||Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport||40.6727s|
|30||88||Gabby Chaves||USA||Harding Racing||40.8411s|
|31||11||Spencer Pigot||USA||Juncos Racing||40.8711s|
|32||17||Sebastian Saavedra||COL||Juncos Racing||40.9910s|
|33||44||Buddy Lazier||USA||Lazier Partners Racing||17:39.6090s|