Alonso crashes as Dixon tops second day of 500 practice

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Credit: NTT Indycar Series

Two-time FIA Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso crashed for the second year running in Indianapolis 500 practice as he continues to aim for the coveted ‘Triple Crown’.

The Spaniard has looked fast on both days of testing so far and was still well up on the speed charts come the end of the day but he missed the final hour of running after his turn four crash.

He drove deep into turn four and touched the concrete burm which sent the #66 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet spinning into the wall and it subsequently came to a stop in the pit lane.

The good news for him and the team is that the car seems not too badly damaged and he should be able to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow and hop into the same car without needing the back up.

Of those who were able to keep their car pointing in the right direction, it was Series leader Scott Dixon who posted the fastest speed as he chases a second 500 victory and his sixth Indycar title.

The New Zealander of Chip Ganassi Racing won the opening three rounds of the 2020 season and has a handsome lead in the standings, victory in the 500 would not only be a career highlight, but also make his championship lead almost unassailable.

2017 victor Takuma Sato was second quickest after leading much of the day and was very happy with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan car as he ended running for the day with 15 minutes to go.

Marco Andretti showed that his team’s day one pace was no fluke as he ended the day third fastest ahead of Conor Daly who continued his good oval form after his first NTT Indycar Series pole came at Iowa.

Best rookie was Alex Palou in fifth for Dale Coyne and the Spaniard also showed very good long-run speed with the best 30-lap average speed of anyone.

Colton Herta had his first 500 experience in 2019 and now wants to make his mark on the race and went the right way about it with the sixth fastest lap of the day ahead of Charlie Kimball who showed promising signs for AJ Foyt Racing.

Alonso was still eighth quickest despite his crash with the speed of his Arrow McLaren SP car backed up by rookie Oliver Askew in tenth.

Sandwiching the pair was 500 veteran James Davison who makes his annual one-off appearance at the Speedway, once again with DCR.

Following the conclusion of the regular practice, DragonSpeed were allowed another chance to get out and have Ben Hanley complete his oval refresher programme after electrical issues thwarted their efforts in the morning.

Team Penske have won the previous two 500’s but kept their powder dry despite looking very quick in traffic. Helio Castroneves was the quickest of the Captain’s cars.

Jack Harvey was only thirteenth fastest but he did have the quickest ‘No Tow Speed’ which is exactly what team’s are looking for ahead of the traditional single-car, four-lap qualifying.

Tomorrow sees engines turned up as teams will look to do a lot of running on ‘Fast Friday’ with speeds expected to be potentially record-breaking.

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