It was a positive day for Chevrolet and Team Penske Tuesday as they led the way in the opening day of practice for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Reigning Indy 500 winner Will Power sat atop the timesheet at the end of the day with a 229.745 mph lap in the draft. He led teammate Simon Pagenaud on the overall speed charts, who was second with a 229.703 mph lap, while Ed Carpenter made it 1-2-3 for Chevrolet with a 228.653 mph lap average.
Helio Castroneves was fourth overall with a 228.441 lap in his Team Penske prepared ride, while Harding-Steinbrenner’s Colton Herta rounded out the top five with a 228.284 mph lap. Herta, who became IndyCar’s youngest-ever race winner this year at the age of 18, was also the fastest of the Honda entries.
Some Chevy teams still have a lot of work to do before qualifying kicks off this weekend, though. DragonSpeed, which is in its first year of IndyCar racing, was at the bottom of the overall speed charts with its no-tow lap of 220.503, although this put them just outside the top 20 on the no-tow charts. DragonSpeed driver Ben Hanley, a successful road racer and karter, had also never driven on an oval before this year.
McLaren Racing, meanwhile, experienced gearbox trouble with its car, which was put together in Britain earlier this year. The team, which missed valuable running time in the Indy 500 open test as well, also lacked pace when out on track, with Alonso’s 224.163 mph lap putting him 32nd overall.
One Chevrolet entry, that of Juncos Racing, lost two of its sponsors just before practice kicked off this week. Juncos driver Kyle Kaiser has thus been left with a completely blank white Dallara DW12 chassis , although the team says they will still compete in the race if Kaiser qualifies. He finished the Tuesday test 21st on the speed charts with a fastest lap of 226.410 mph.
The 103rd Indy 500 will kick off on May 26th.
Photos via IndyCar