Will Power set the pace in the opening practice around the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy got underway on Thursday.
Power, the 2015 race winner of the race, took his #12 Team Penske entry to the top of the time sheets with a time of 1m09.8943s, with the Australian the only driver to get beneath the 1m10s barrier.
Second fastest was Graham Rahal, who got within 0.0699s of breaking the 1m10s barrier in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing machine, while third fastest and leading a trio of Penske drivers was Juan Pablo Montoya.
The Colombian set a best time of 1m10.3028s, with championship leader Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves in close company. Castroneves was responsible for a red flag after spinning and stalling near pit exit with nine minutes to go, but was able to recover post-spin when the session restarted to move into the top five.
Scott Dixon ended the session in sixth for Chip Ganassi Racing, ahead of Josef Newgarden of Ed Carpenter Racing, while Andretti Autosport got two cars into the top ten, Marco Andretti eighth and Carlos Munoz tenth, either side of KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais, while the top twenty-one drivers were all within one second of Power’s time.
Spencer Pigot was the best placed of the additional entrants for this weekend’s race, with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver ending up twelfth, while the returning Gabby Chaves placed sixteenth for Dale Coyne Racing after being a last minute entrant in place of Luca Filippi.
It was a more disappointing session for the other trio of additional drivers however, with JR Hildebrand, Alex Tagliani and Matt Brabham down in twenty-second, twenty-third and twenty-fourth respectively after various issues.
James Hinchcliffe did not set a time as he suffered from mechanical gremlins of his own on his #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports machine.
Grand Prix of Indy Free Practice 1 Times
[table id=1049 /]