Pagenaud leads the way in opening Elkhart Lake practice

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Simon Pagenaud - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Championship leader Simon Pagenaud set the pace in the opening practice session on the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Road America.

The Team Penske driver set a time of 1:43.480 to set the pace as top level American single seater racing returns to the Elkhart Lake circuit for the first time since 2007.

Scott Dixon had set the pace up until Pagenaud’s session topping time, but the New Zealander was forced to settle for fourth after late quick laps from Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz and AJ Foyt Racing’s Jack Hawksworth saw the Colombian and Briton finish second and third respectively.

Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Tony Kanaan completed the top five, with Marco Andretti sixth for Andretti Autosport ahead of Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport, while James Hinchcliffe was eighth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.

Graham Rahal was ninth for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing outfit, while the top ten was completed by Josef Newgarden of Ed Carpenter Racing, who will be evaluated at the end of the day to check whether he is fit enough to race this weekend after being injured in a high speed crash with Conor Daly at the Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

Whereas Pagenaud set the pace, his Penske team-mates were all outside the top ten, with Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Helio Castroneves eleventh, twelfth and sixteenth respectively.

Road America Free Practice 1 Times

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