Bringing You Up to Speed – Indy 500 Testing

Photo credit:Chris Jones/IndyCar

The Road to the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge kicked off last week with a two-day test. Thirty-two NTT IndyCar Series entrants took to the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for next month’s May classic.

Josef Newgarden tops the chart followed by a slew of former 500 winners.

  • Two time NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden turned the quickest lap of the two day test with a 226.819 mph average. The Nashville, Tennessee native is chasing his elusive first 500 win in his 10th start.
  • Defending 500 champion Takuma Sato led the led the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing contingent a trio of former Indy 500 winners with a best lap of 226.396 mph.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya showed no rust in his new ride at Arrow McLaren Schimdt Peterson Motorsports as he clocked the third quickest lap at 226.123 mph. The two-time Indy champ is making his first foray in four years at the 500 after competing for three seasons in Team Penske’s Acura IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series program.
  • Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon slotted in fourth for Chip Ganasssi Racing while Sato’s teammate Graham Rahal completed the top five.
  • The parity continued down the list with five drivers from four teams completed the top five. Conor Daly ended up sixth in his Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy at 225.639 mph. 2018 500 winner Will Power ended up seventh while Pato O’ Ward found himself sandwiched in ninth between Meyer Shank Racing teammates Jack Harvey in eighth and Helio Castroneves in 10th.

Andretti Autosport mired down the order

  • Indy 500 dynamo team Andretti Autosport saw mixed results in the test as 2014 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay only mustered the 12th fastest lap (224.949).
  • Colton Herta ended up right behind him (224.203) while 2016 winner Alexander Rossi ended up 19th.
  • James Hinchcliffe completed his veteran refresher program and wound up 22nd quickest while 2020 Indy 500 polesitter Marco Andretti ended up 25th.

Scott McLaughlin sets the pace for rookies

  • Team Penske’s rookie Scott McLaughlin was the busiest man in the field as he logged 195 laps on Friday on his way to logging the 18th fastest lap at 223.808 mph.
  • Pietro Fittipaldi and Cody Ware completed their rookie orientation in their IMS debut. The pair of Dale Coyne Racing rookies found themselves near the bottom of the timesheet with Fittipaldi in 29th and ware in 31st.
    • Fittipaldi will pilot the No. 51 Honda on the ovals at Texas and IMS while his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grojean will drive the road and street circuits.
    • Ware may possibly moonlight in the Indy 500 in addition to his NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Sebastien Bourdais leads refresher test. Jones, De Silvestro make Indy returns

  • Four time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais led the 11 drivers running Thursday’s rookie orientation/refresher test with a lap of 224.427 mph. The 42-year old Frenchman is initiating his first full-season with AJ Foyt Racing after competing with them in the final three rounds of last season (Harvest GP, St. Petersburg.)
  • Sage Karam ended the session with the second quickest lap at 222.048 while three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves completed his first run for Meyer Shank Racing at Indy in third place.
  • Ed Jones and Simona de Silvestro also completed their veteran refresher programs. Both drivers are returning to IMS – Jones last competed in the 2019 500 while de Silvestro ran in 2015.

Rinus VeeKay suffers broken finger in lone shunt of the test.

  • Ed Carpenter Racing sophomore Rinus VeeKay crashed his No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet in Turn 1 just 11 minutes into Thursday’s session. The incident briefly halted the session as the 20-year old Dutchman was aided to the infield car center and the wreckage was cleared.
  • The 2019 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire runner-up broke a finger on his left hand, but has been cleared to drive in this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.
  • The crash caused major damage to the car, but did not crack the tub. The team withdrew VeeKay’s entry from the test since the backup car was the primary car for Barber.

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