Jay Howard puts Schmidt Peterson Motorsport on top on day four

Jay Howard was quickest on day four at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Credit: Walter Kuhn / IndyCar

Jay Howard caused a surprise as the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver set the fastest time seen so far this week around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to top day four of practice on Thursday.

Racing in an IndyCar for the first time since 2011, the British driver showed that the speed is still there as he topped the time sheets with a lap of 226.744mph, almost a full mile per hour faster than second placed Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay led a trio of Andretti Autosport drivers, with the former series champion and 2014 Indy 500 champion finishing ahead of team-mates Marco Andretti and Fernando Alonso, the latter continuing to impress as he adapts to ovals and IndyCar.

Josef Newgarden ended the day fifth fastest but became the second driver this month to hit the wall, losing control of his #2 Team Penske car during his thirty-sixth lap and causing extensive damage. He was lucky to be avoided by those following him, but he was taken to the medical centre but quickly cleared to resume track action, although he did not return to the track on Thursday due to the damage.

Sage Karam was sixth fastest for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball, with the two American drivers the last of those to set a lap above 225mph on the day.

Oriol Servia was eighth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato, while Sebastien Bourdais completed the top ten for Dale Coyne Racing despite appearing to have an engine issue midway through the session, causing a caution period while his car was recovered and the oil he dropped on the track was cleared up.

For the first time this week, Buddy Lazier took to the track, albeit for one installation lap, but it meant that all thirty-three drivers have now seen some action ahead of Fast Friday and the weekend qualifying sessions.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Practice 4 Result

177Jay HowardGBRSchmidt Peterson Motorsports39.6924s
228Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport39.8537s
327Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport39.8743s
429Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren Honda Andretti39.8902s
52Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske39.9193s
624Sage KaramUSADreyer & Reinbold Racing39.9671s
783Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing39.9750s
816Oriol ServiaESPRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing40.0290s
926Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport40.0408s
1018Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing40.0490s
117Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports40.0693s
1212Will PowerAUSTeam Penske40.0779s
1398Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport40.0885s
1422Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske40.0942s
153Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske40.1057s
169Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing40.1091s
1715Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing40.1157s
1819Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing40.1193s
1914Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises40.1264s
2020Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter Racing40.1695s
218Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing40.2175s
2221JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing40.2487s
231Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske40.2793s
2410Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing40.3365s
2563Pippa MannGBRDale Coyne Racing40.3501s
265James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports40.4185s
274Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises40.4277s
2840Zach VeachUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises40.4562s
2950Jack HarveyGBRMichael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport40.6727s
3088Gabby ChavesUSAHarding Racing40.8411s
3111Spencer PigotUSAJuncos Racing40.8711s
3217Sebastian SaavedraCOLJuncos Racing40.9910s
3344Buddy LazierUSALazier Partners Racing17:39.6090s