Ed Carpenter leads opening Phoenix practice

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Late quick laps from Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden meant Ed Carpenter Racing led the way in opening practice for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series return to the Phoenix International Raceway as Chevrolet-powered cars filled the top ten places.

But the session was heavily disrupted by caution periods, with big crashes befalling both Takuma Sato and James Hinchcliffe at the first turn, with both AJ Foyt Enterprises and Sam Schmidt Motorsports mechanics set to busy to repair the cars before qualifying and night practice at the first oval event of the season.

Carpenter, who is only racing the oval tracks again in 2016, set a time of 19.1227s to end the session with the fastest time, with team-mate Newgarden just 0.0174s back in second position as the top nineteen cars were separated by less than one second.

Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing filled out the remaining places in the top ten, with Helio Castroneves the leading Penske driver in third, with team-mates Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya fifth seventh and ninth respectively, while Tony Kanaan was the leading Ganassi in fourth, with Charlie Kimball, Scott Dixon and Max Chilton sixth, eighth and tenth.

The Honda-powered Andretti Autosport quartet were just outside the top ten led by Ryan Hunter-Reay, with Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi just behind.

Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais was fifteenth fastest for KVSH Racing, who got out on track despite their transporter fire on route to the track during the week.

Phoenix International Raceway Practice 1 Times

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