Scott Dixon turned the top speed of the day after two rounds of practice for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. [Andy Clary Photo]
by Mary Champion
Speedway, Ind., May 12 – The Verizon IndyCar Series began practice for Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Thursday, with two separate practice sessions.
Will Power topped the speed chart in the first practice session with a speed of 125.624 mph on the 2.439-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, Scott Dixon turned the top speed of the day in the second practice session with a speed of 125.743 mph.
The speeds during practice were very close with the top ten for the day less than 0.07 mph apart in speed.
In fact, in timing on the course, Simon Pageaud and Graham Rahal, who were second and third fastest, respectively, in the second practice session were but 0.0002 of a second apart in time, which worked out to identical speeds of 125.453 mph.
Power, who was winner of last year’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, likes the road course and compares it to courses in Europe for it’s smoothness.
“The track is one of my favorites in the Series,” Power said. “It is very smooth with nice curbs, long straights and it creates good racing.”
Power was also asked how it fits into the month of May in conjunction with the “500.”
“It’s a great addition,” he said. You’ve got both disciplines here, road course and oval. If you could win both, that would be such a great achievement, you could boast both wins,” he added while smiling.
Two practices were also held on Thursday for all three of the Mazda Road to Indy Series.
In the Cooper Tires USF2000 Series, Chinese driver Yufeng Luo, was fastest in the first session and fastest overall, with a speed of 101.128 mph around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. Luke Gabin was second fastest on the day with a speed of 101.055 mph. Of the 26 drivers that practiced, all but one posted their fastest speed of the day in the first session.
In the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires Series, Rice Lake Wisconsin’s, Aaron Telitz dominated practice. Telitz, who was quickest in both sessions, posted a speed of 104.940 mph in the first session, to set the fastest speed of the day. Pato O’Ward was second quickest with a speed of 104.805, which was also set in the first practice session.
A heavy downpour shortened the second Indy Lights practice session, which was scheduled to be the final practice session of the day, but in the first session, Santiago Urrutai posted a speed of 115.567 mph., which turned out to be the fastest speed of the day.
Because of the rain, all of the fastest individual speeds were set in the first with Ed Jones second quick at 115.376 mph.
On Friday, all three of the Road to Indy Series will have qualifying and one race, with a second race in all three divisions to be held on Saturday.
Also on Friday, the Verizon IndyCar Series will hold a final practice session and qualifying for Saturday’s Angie’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis.