INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Coming off his first Verizon IndyCar Series podium of 2017, Team Penske’s Will Power is off to a good start in continuing his momentum into this weekend’s INDYCAR Grand Prix. The Australian led today’s opening practice session of the weekend with a fast lap of 1 minute, 9.3172 seconds (126.670 mph).
“We got better at the end,” said Power, slated to make his 175th Indy car start on Saturday. “Got a bit quicker. We made a lot of changes. We’ve got to digest exactly what works and does not back at the shed.”
In the issue-free 45-minute session, all 22 cars and drivers circulated the 2.439-mile, 14-turn permanent Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, as Power – 2015 winner of the INDYCAR Grand Prix – was followed by Scott Dixon (No. 9 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 1:09.4096) and Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 1:09.4279) atop the speed chart. A total of 359 timed laps were turned.
INDYCAR GRAND PRIX: Practice 1 results
Defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet) was fourth quick at 1:09.4607 (126.408 mph). Ed Carpenter Racing sophomore Spencer Pigot (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet) rounded out the top five at 1:09.4628 (126.404 mph).
“It’s tough to get a balance,” Power added regarding setup for the IMS road course. “The track is so smooth. It’s very consistent grip everywhere. If your car’s a little bit out of balance, you’re going to struggle.”
It’s a jam-packed day for Verizon IndyCar Series teams. The 22-car field returns to the track at 12:25 p.m. ET for Practice 2, followed by Verizon P1 Award knockout qualifying at 4:20 p.m. Both sessions feature a live video stream on RaceControl.IndyCar.com, with audio provided by the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.
Saturday’s 85-lap race airs live on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, with coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.