Ed Carpenter leads opening Phoenix practice

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

120Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing19.1227s22
221Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing19.1401s11
33Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske19.1589s35
410Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing19.1685s18
522Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske19.1709s24
683Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing19.2074s42
712Will PowerAUSTeam Penske19.2668s26
89Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing19.2721s23
92Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske19.3288s29
108Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing19.3506s44
1128Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport19.3881s38
1226Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport19.4356s36
1327Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport19.4588s37
1498Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport19.5653s41
1511Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing19.5834s26
1615Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing19.6035s35
177Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports19.6894s39
185James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports19.7107s4
1918Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing19.8839s36
2014Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises20.2610s5
2119Luca FilippiITADale Coyne Racing20.3056s56
2241Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises20.3151s31