Aleshin leads Hinchcliffe in opening Pocono practice

Mikhail Aleshin - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Mikhail Aleshin led a Schmidt Peterson Motorsport 1-2 in opening practice at the Pocono Raceway on Saturday as three drivers found the wall.

Aleshin set a best lap of 221.932mph to set the pace ahead of team-mate James Hinchcliffe, but the session saw Ryan Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball and Juan Pablo Montoya all hit the unforgiving concrete wall.

Hunter-Reay crashed his Andretti Autosport machine at turn one early in the session to cause the first interruption on just his sixth lap of the day, while Kimball hit the same wall in his Chip Ganassi Racing entry later in the session. Team Penske driver Montoya hit the wall at turn two with five minutes remaining on the clock.

All three drivers were unhurt, but with qualifying only three hours away, the teams will face a race against time to get their drivers out.

Josef Newgarden ended the session in third for Ed Carpenter Racing ahead of Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport, with Carlos Munoz placing his Andretti Autosport machine into fifth.

Championship contender Will Power was sixth in his Penske machine, three-tenths of a second but eight places ahead of team-mate and championship leader Simon Pagenaud.

Tony Kanaan was the leading Ganassi driver in seventh ahead of Kimball and Montoya, while Ed Carpenter completed the top ten.

Pocono Free Practice 1 Result

17Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports40.5530
25James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports40.8553
321Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing40.8794
498Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Autosport40.9227
526Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport40.9240
612Will PowerAUSTeam Penske41.0186
710Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing41.1427
883Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing41.1669
92Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske41.1725
1020Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing41.2109
1141Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises41.2167
129Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing41.2954
1328Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport41.2973
1422Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske41.3167
153Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske41.3228
1614Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises41.3746
1727Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport41.3762
188Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing41.4907
1915Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing41.5382
2011Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH Racing41.5446
2188Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing42.1618
2219Pippa MannGBRDale Coyne Racing42.7145