Bourdais leads test with three hours to go, Palou stars

Sebastien Bourdais put AJ Foyt Racing at the top in Texas with three hours of the 6hr10min Spring Training session still remaining, but his replacement at Dale Coyne Racing, rookie Alex Palou has also been a stars.

Bourdais leads test with three hours to go, Palou stars

With eight sets of slicks available thanks to yesterday’s and this morning’s virtual washouts at Circuit of The Americas, the teams have had eight sets of Firestone slicks available in the 6hr10min session. As track conditions became ever more favorable, most new session pacesetters – and there have been several – have taken huge chunks of time from the driver they replaced in top spot. 

The session’s halfway mark was reached under a red flag as Marcus Ericsson beached his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda in the new gravel trap at Turn 19, which has been extended this year. The corner itself has not been reprofiled but the timing loop has been shortened so that anyone who uses excess of the runoff asphalt will have that lap discounted.

Bourdais was 0.5783sec faster than the Ganassi car of Scott Dixon, with 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward putting the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet third. Bourdais will now turn the #14 Foyt car over to Dalton Kellett, one of the drivers with whom he’ll share the entry this year.

Fourth was last year’s Super Formula rookie of the year, Alex Palou who looked very fast and smooth around the sweepers in the final sector of the lap, beating Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power by 0.04sec who was struggling in that final sector.

Felix Rosenqvist made it two Ganassi cars in the top six, ahead of reigning Indy 500 champion Simon Pagenaud, and the fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Hondas, Alex Rossi who survived a spin in his pink-and-black AutoNation-colored machine.

Graham Rahal was ninth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda ahead of the Carlin-Chevy of Max Chilton.

Rookie and 2019 Lights champ Oliver Askew in the second Arrow McLaren SP car  looked very quick as the track was still drying in the early afternoon.

2018 IMSA champion Felipe Nasr turned 49 laps in the second Carlin car, including some brave efforts while the track was at its most wet/dry and treacherous, but now hands over the #31 entry to F2 race winner Sergio Sette Camara. Nothing has yet been confirmed regarding the how and when these two drivers will share the car in 2020, although there would be only one date clash between the IMSA Prototype schedule and the IndyCar season for Action Express Racing's star Nasr. 

Supercars star Scott McLaughlin survived a spin in the #2 Penske and lay 2sec off the ultimate pace, but with several tire sets left to use.

shares
comments
Power: Leaking aeroscreen should be easy fix

Previous article

Power: Leaking aeroscreen should be easy fix

Next article

Power tops Spring Training, McLaughlin stuns with P3

Power tops Spring Training, McLaughlin stuns with P3
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021