Alexander Rossi headed the field in the opening free practice session at Road America, with the Andretti Herta Autosport driver leading a trio of Team Penske drivers.
However, for Andretti Autosport team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay, a crash with just over five minutes remaining into the barriers on the exit of turn fourteen ended the session early for everyone.
Rossi, a past winner at Road America nine years ago whilst racing in Formula BMW, hit the top with a lap of 1:43.3285s, 0.2340 seconds clear of reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud, while defending race winner Will Power was 0.4223 seconds back in third.
Josef Newgarden was fourth, also for Penske on a 1:43.7780s, with Scott Dixon the leading of the Chip Ganassi Racing quartet in fifth, with team-mate Max Chilton seventh, just behind Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe.
Hunter-Reay ended eighth despite his late crash, which he emerged unscathed from, while his Andretti Autosport team-mate Marco Andretti was ninth ahead of the fourth Penske of Helio Castroneves.
Robert Wickens participated in his first practice session for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport as he stands in for the delayed Mikhail Aleshin, who was prevented from leaving France on time due to immigration issues after competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend. Wickens completed eleven laps and finished twentieth, just behind Esteban Gutierrez but ahead of Conor Daly.
Road America Free Practice 1 Result
|1||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||1:43.3285|
|2||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||1:43.5625|
|3||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||1:43.7508|
|4||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||1:43.7780|
|5||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:43.8994|
|6||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:43.9047|
|7||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:44.0483|
|8||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||1:44.0681|
|9||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||1:44.0967|
|10||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||1:44.3249|
|11||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:44.4590|
|12||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:44.4748|
|13||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||1:44.5882|
|14||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:44.6224|
|15||20||Spencer Pigot||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:44.7711|
|16||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:44.9998|
|17||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||1:45.3601|
|18||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:45.6062|
|19||18||Esteban Gutierrez||MEX||Dale Coyne Racing||1:45.6257|
|20||7||Robert Wickens||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:45.6823|
|21||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:45.6920|