Sebastien Bourdais recovered from his engine failure on Thursday to lead the way on Fast Friday as drivers adapted to running qualifying simulations around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Speeds rose significantly on Friday thanks to the increase in turbo boost allowed, and the Dale Coyne Racing driver set a best lap of 233.116mph to lead a Honda-dominated top ten, with only one Chevrolet-powered Dallara inside the top dozen.
Bourdais finished ahead of a trio of Andretti Autosport drivers, with Ryan Hunter-Reay second quickest with a lap of 232.132mph ahead of Takuma Sato (231.969mph) and Fernando Alonso (231.827mph), with the Spaniard being the leading rookie once more.
Hunter-Reay also had the honour of setting the fastest lap without a tow, which bodes well for qualifying, with the American setting a lap of 231.273mph, with Bourdais’ best no-tow lap not far behind that of the 2014 Indy 500 winner.
Juan Pablo Montoya was the only Chevrolet-powered driver inside the top twelve, with the Colombian placing his #22 Team Penske into fifth place overall with a lap of 231.682mph.
Montoya’s team-mates Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden were thirteenth, sixteenth, twenty-third and twenty-fourth respectively, with none of them able to breach the 231mph barrier.
James Hinchcliffe led the trio of Schmidt Peterson Motorsport entrants in sixth, with team-mates Mikhail Aleshin and Jay Howard just behind, while Ed Jones was ninth for Dale Coyne Racing ahead of defending Indy 500 champion Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport.
There were two crashes during the session, with Spencer Pigot of Juncos Racing and Zach Veach of AJ Foyt Racing finding the wall, with both being checked over at the Medical Centre and cleared to resume racing.
Jack Harvey was forced to change engines during the session after smoke was seen trailing from his car early on, with the Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport crew doing a great job to allow him the opportunity to return to the track before the session ended, aided by a three-hour rain break.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Fast Friday Practice Results
|1||18||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing||38.6074s|
|2||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||38.7711s|
|3||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||38.7983s|
|4||29||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren Honda Andretti||38.8220s|
|5||22||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||38.8463s|
|6||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||38.8740s|
|7||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||38.8858s|
|8||77||Jay Howard||GBR||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||38.9181s|
|9||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||38.9185s|
|10||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||38.9288s|
|11||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||38.9519s|
|12||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||38.9584s|
|13||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||38.9640s|
|14||16||Oriol Servia||ESP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||38.9801s|
|15||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||39.0000s|
|16||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||39.0088s|
|17||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||39.0097s|
|18||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||39.0225s|
|19||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||39.0241s|
|20||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||39.0735s|
|21||63||Pippa Mann||GBR||Dale Coyne Racing||39.1130s|
|22||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||39.1292s|
|23||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||39.1350s|
|24||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||39.3660s|
|25||50||Jack Harvey||GBR||Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport||39.4001s|
|26||24||Sage Karam||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||39.4462s|
|27||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||39.4813s|
|28||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||39.6083s|
|29||88||Gabby Chaves||USA||Harding Racing||39.6182s|
|30||40||Zach Veach||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||39.6333s|
|31||17||Sebastian Saavedra||COL||Juncos Racing||39.7835s|
|32||11||Spencer Pigot||USA||Juncos Racing||39.7931s|
|33||44||Buddy Lazier||USA||Lazier Partners Racing||40.9761s|