Wickens and Kanaan set near-identical lap-times in Texas first practice

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Credit: Chris Owens / Courtesy of IndyCar

The Verizon IndyCar Series has taken to the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the first practice session prior to this weekend’s 2018 DXC Technology 600Robert Wickens finished the session as the fastest driver, but only just. Tony Kanaan set a near-identical lap-time to Wickens to take second place in the session.

The teams and drivers of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series had an hour and a half of track-time in first practice at Texas. However, the session was not the most representative of what we will see in qualifying and the race, due to the session being held in the day as opposed to under the floodlights in the evening.

The cars were not able to run at their fastest due to the heat, but the teams had to make do, as the session was the only practice they would get before qualifying later on in the day.

The track continued to evolve as the session went on, with the fastest laps coming right at the end of the running. Tony Kanaan was the first driver to break the 220-mph mark with under five minutes to go, only for rookie Robert Wickens to take away the top spot on the time-sheets a few moments later.

Wickens and Kanaan set almost identical lap-times, with the pair only being separated when an extra decimal place was added to their times. Both set a best lap of 23.5621, which equated to a fastest average speed of 220.01-mph. Following the leading duo would be Sebastien Bourdais in third place for Dale Coyne RacingAlexander Rossi was just behind in fourth place.

Completing the top five would impressively be Gabby Chaves for Harding Racing. Chaves was at the top of the times within the final ten minutes of the session, with the result perhaps foreshadowing another great run for the underdog team this weekend at the site of their outstanding fifth place last year.

Last Saturday’s Detroit race-winner, Scott Dixon was sixth fastest in today’s first practice session, just ahead of Simon Pagenaud in seventh and Marco Andretti in eighth place. Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden and Chip Ganassi Racing‘s Ed Jones completed the top ten.

Twelfth-placed James Hinchcliffe and twenty-first-placed Matheus Leist would share the honour of the busiest driver in the session. Both completed the most laps of anybody during the hour and a half session, with seventy-nine laps each on the board.

Zachary Claman De Melo and Max Chilton both had their on-track running limited by issues early on in the session. Both were reported to have suffered throttle problems, but thankfully both were able to return to the track later in the session. Claman De Melo ended practice one in nineteenth place for Dale Coyne, with Chilton’s Carlin propping up the time-sheets in twenty-second place.

The drivers and teams will be back on the track later this evening for qualifying ahead of final practice after that. The 2018 DXC Technology 600 will take place tomorrow evening under the floodlights.

2018 Verizon IndyCar Series – DXC Technology 600 – Practice one results:

[table id=3085 /]

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Reporter from the East of England. Covering the NTT IndyCar Series for The Checkered Flag. Also an eSports racing driver on iRacing.
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