Castroneves leads Pagenaud in Indy 500 Practice Two

by Paul Hensby

Helio Castroneves was quickest on the second official day of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as 33 drivers completed over 1950 laps in near perfect weather conditions.

The Team Penske driver competed 72 laps, but his early lap of 227.514mph was enough to see him end the day on top. He was also responsible for the quickest lap of the day that was not assisted by a tow of 225.314mph as Chevrolet power was responsible for seven of the eight fastest times, with the top ten all breaking through the 226mph barrier.

“It was a good day,” revealed the Brazilian at the end of the day. “The Shell V-Power Nitro+ car was super strong, super solid, felt comfortable. Now we’ve got to just keep working with this new aero kit.

“Today was basically the second day that we’ve been working constantly, but I like what I see. Things are looking in the right direction. We’re not focused on just the lap, we’re focused on the performance of it all.”

Team Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud was second fastest, just 0.132mph behind Castroneves, but ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, while the highest placed Honda-powered driver was Andretti Autosport’s Justin Wilson in fourth, although the Briton caused the session to end a few minutes early on Tuesday when smoke appeared to come out of the engine.

“I looked in the mirror and there was a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust so, yeah, it’s unfortunate,” revealed Wilson. “I don’t know any more than that right now.

“But, looking back over the day, I think we’ve had a pretty good day. The car’s been quick. We tried a couple of different set-ups that the team’s got going on. Both feel pretty good and quick.

“I’m pleased with today. I think that the No. 25 Honda Andretti Autosport car is working well. I really enjoy working with Craig Hampson, my engineer, and I think there’s more to come. I think there’s a few tweaks we can try for going faster and also dealing better in traffic.”

Townsend Bell was an impressive fifth for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, turning a lap of 226.519mph, while reigning IndyCar champion Will Power was sixth in the third of the four Team Penske entries.

Tony Kanaan was only 0.001mph slower than Power in seventh for Chip Ganassi Racing, with JR Hildebrand the leading Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing (CFH Racing) entry in eighth. Andretti Autosport duo Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz completed the top ten.

“I think today was another pretty productive day for us,” said Munoz. “We’re concentrating on long runs more than speed at the moment. It’s still early in the week and we still have three more days of practice.

“We’ll take it step by step. I still have some things to work on, and I’m happy we’ve been quick both days so far. Hopefully we’ll keep it up and improve a little bit more.”

It was a dramatic day however for Simona de Silvestro, with the Andretti Autosport driver suffering a fuel leak on her Andretti Autosport machine just as she left the pits, with her car catching fire in dramatic fashion. Luckily the ‘Swiss Miss’ was able to get out of the car unscathed, but her car will need a total rebuild, and it is unlikely she will get back out on track until Thursday.

“It’s definitely unfortunate because the car is pretty burnt down, and it’s really frustrating that it seems like fire follows me,” said de Silvestro.

“Maybe this time is third time’s the charm, and hopefully the team can get the car back together as quickly as possible. Until now, everything was working fine, and it’s just annoying because it’s a pretty big setback for us.

“But I have four great team-mates and that will make it easier for us to continue moving forward.”

James Jakes also suffered an engine failure on his Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports machine during the afternoon, meaning three Honda-powered teams will be working hard overnight to get their drivers back on track as soon as possible.

AJ Foyt Enterprises drivers Jack Hawksworth and Alex Tagliani got their first running of the week on Tuesday, as did James Davison for Dale Coyne Racing, meaning the only driver/car combination we have yet to see on track is the #91 Lazier Racing Partners entry of Buddy Lazier. It is unclear when we will see the former Indy 500 winner take to the track.

Indianapolis 500 Practice 2 Results

13Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske227.514
222Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske227.382
39Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing226.769
425Justin WilsonGBRAndretti Autosport226.688
524Townsend BellUSADreyer & Reinbold Racing226.519
61Will PowerAUSTeam Penske226.393
710Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing226.392
86JR HildebrandUSACFH Racing226.376
927Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport226.354
1026Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport226.199
1120Ed CarpenterUSACFH Racing225.845
1221Josef NewgardenUSACFH Racing225.625
1383Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing225.467
1414Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises225.342
1515Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing225.271
1698Gabby ChavesCOLBryan Herta Autosport224.903
178Sage KaramUSAChip Ganassi Racing224.838
1828Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport224.784
1911Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing224.534
202Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske224.440
2132Oriol ServiaESPRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing224.179
2263Pippa MannGBRDale Coyne Racing224.056
2343Conor DalyUSASchmidt Peterson Racing223.922
245James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Racing223.793
257James JakesGBRSchmidt Peterson Racing223.267
2626Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport222.879
274Stefano ColettiMONKV Racing Technology222.504
2841Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises222.448
2929Simona de SilvestroSWIAndretti Autosport222.164
3018Carlos HuertasCOLDale Coyne Racing221.675
3117Sebastian SaavedraCOLAFS Chip Ganassi Racing221.064
3288Bryan ClausonUSAKVSH Racing218.821
3319James DavisonAUSDale Coyne Racing214.877
3448Alex TaglianiCANAJ Foyt Enterprises121.952

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