Graham Rahal was the pacesetter in the opening free practice session around the streets of Detroit on Friday, with the Verizon IndyCar Series coming to ‘Motor City’ just a week after their flagship Indianapolis 500.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver hit the front with a lap of 1:15.3328 to lead Team Penske duo Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden, with the gap between Rahal and the pack 0.1562 seconds.
Alexander Rossi was fourth fastest for Andretti Herta Autosport, 0.3888 seconds off of Rahal’s pace, while Will Power was fifth for Penske ahead of Marco Andretti.
Scott Dixon was seventh fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing, but the New Zealander caused the only red flag of the session when he spun on track. He was able to avoid damage, which after the horrific crash he suffered during the Indy 500 on Sunday, he will be grateful for.
Dixon’s team-mate Tony Kanaan was the only other driver to set a time below 1:16s, finishing with a 1:15.9900s, while Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe completed the top ten.
Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was down in twelfth for Andretti Autosport in his first time in the car since winning the legendary race last Sunday.
Esteban Gutierrez had his first practice session since being confirmed as Sebastien Bourdais’ replacement at Dale Coyne Racing, with the Mexican former Formula 1 driver ending twenty-first fastest, ahead only of team-mate Ed Jones.
Belle Isle Park Free Practice 1 Result
|1||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:15.3328|
|2||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||1:15.4890|
|3||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||1:15.5384|
|4||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||1:15.7216|
|5||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||1:15.8159|
|6||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||1:15.9159|
|7||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:15.9540|
|8||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:15.9900|
|9||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||1:16.0130|
|10||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:16.0354|
|11||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||1:16.1781|
|12||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||1:16.2165|
|13||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:16.3861|
|14||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:16.4302|
|15||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:16.4507|
|16||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:16.6096|
|17||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:16.7793|
|18||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||1:16.9432|
|19||20||Spencer Pigot||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:17.0866|
|20||16||Oriol Servia||ESP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:17.9734|
|21||18||Esteban Gutierrez||MEX||Dale Coyne Racing||1:18.2289|
|22||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||1:18.9603|