Indianapolis 500 practice: Power fastest, problems for Alonso

Will Power and Simon Pagenaud put Team Penske at the top on the opening day of 2019 Indianapolis 500 practice, while Fernando Alonso had further electrical problems.

Power got a major tow to set his fastest speed of 229.745mph, on his 41st of 68 laps edging team-mate and last weekend’s Indianapolis road course race winner Simon Pagenaud by a mere 0.043mph.

Last year’s Indy 500 winner Power said that his car’s handling was difficult in traffic at the start of the day as all teams had to adapt to the new Firestone rubber that has been designed to eliminate some of the confidence-sapping understeer that most drivers encountered in traffic last year.

Once configured, Power said his Dallara-Chevrolet was much more comfortable in dirty air.

Running in a Penske ‘train’, Power and Pagenaud overcame Ed Carpenter’s time from the morning session as well as their own team-mate Helio Castroneves.

Colton Herta’s morning speed held up well, and he finished the day fifth, albeit causing the only non-debris related caution flag, when he spun exiting pitlane having “bit off more than I could chew” speed-wise on the warm-up lane.

The rookie hit the brakes fast enough to keep the car from drifting onto the race surface proper as cars passed at 220mph-plus, although he burned a hole through one of his rear tyres.

Sebastien Bourdais’ Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan entry was sixth ahead of a trio of Andretti Autosport Dallara-Hondas led by Zach Veach.

Ed Jones in the Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa entry finished 10th overall, but was fastest without the aid of a tow, clocking a 224.542mph.

Scott Dixon in the Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda set the fastest trap speed, heading up to Turn 1 at 236.128mph.

A gearbox issue that prevented Patricio O’Ward from going through his Rookie Orientation process in the early afternoon meant he wasn’t allowed to take part in the general practice from 3-6pm, so post-repairs, his Carlin team-mate Max Chilton shook the car down for him, clocking a best lap about 1.3mph off his best time in his own car.

Weather allowing – and the forecast is not good – the track will open at 10.20am on Wednesday, to allow O’Ward to go through the three phases of Rookie Orientation before full practice is due to resume at 11am.

Fernando Alonso completed 50 laps, only one of which came in the afternoon, and he was 32nd on the speed charts.

He lost time with an electrical problem, which persuaded McLaren to replace the whole wiring loom for Wednesday as it followed electrical issues that had previously stunted his test on April 24.

Kyle Kaiser had been fastest in the ‘rookies and refreshers’ session earlier in the day. His Juncos Racing team has been hit by the loss of two major sponsors in the build-up to the event.

“My mindset is, it doesn’t change no matter what’s on the car,” he said.

“For now, I go out there and I drive the car as best I can and put the car at the front every chance we can.

“And hopefully, if we perform the way we’re supposed to perform, then we’ll have people coming in to get on the side of the car.”

IndyCar veteran Oriol Servia earlier this week announced a late deal to contest the race under the Team Stange Racing with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports banner. He was 37th on Tuesday.

Tuesday practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Speed Time Laps
1 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 229.745 39.1738s 68
2 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 229.703 39.1810s 81
3 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 228.653 39.3610s 105
4 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 228.441 39.3974s 67
5 Colton Herta Harding Racing Dallara/Honda 228.284 39.4246s 74
6 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 228.242 39.4318s 110
7 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 228.133 39.4506s 109
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 228.061 39.4631s 92
9 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 228.000 39.4736s 81
10 Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 227.966 39.4795s 105
11 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 227.836 39.5021s 128
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 227.642 39.5358s 80
13 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 227.428 39.5730s 97
14 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 227.249 39.6042s 90
15 J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 227.201 39.6125s 113
16 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 227.083 39.6330s 95
17 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 227.001 39.6474s 60
18 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 226.829 39.6774s 81
19 Conor Daly Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 226.721 39.6963s 99
20 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 226.498 39.7354s 90
21 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 226.410 39.7509s 10
22 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 225.843 39.8507s 69
23 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 225.498 39.9117s 5
24 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 225.473 39.9161s 66
25 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 225.235 39.9582s 99
26 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 225.202 39.9641s 85
27 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 224.846 40.0274s 76
28 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 224.793 40.0369s 6
29 Marcus Ericsson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 224.701 40.0532s 83
30 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 224.615 40.0686s 32
31 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 224.355 40.1150s 85
32 Fernando Alonso McLaren Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 224.162 40.1496s 50
33 Jordan King Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 223.973 40.1834s 42
34 Pippa Mann Clauson-Marshall Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 223.910 40.1948s 25
35 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 223.521 40.2646s 13
36 James Davison Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 223.514 40.2660s 30
37 Oriol Servia Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 223.290 40.3063s 60
38 Ben Hanley DragonSpeed Dallara/Chevrolet 221.547 40.6235s 14
39 James Hinchcliffe Meyer Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 220.503 40.8157s 5

Note: Drivers appear twice if they also set a time in their spare car

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