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Sato leads veterans' IndyCar test for Indy 500

2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato put Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda on top of the speed charts in the veterans’ test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was heavily disrupted by rain.

Sato leads veterans' IndyCar test for Indy 500

Just 28 laps had turned by the time the caution lights blinked on, with three-time Indy 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter leading the way. When action resumed over four hours later, defending Indy 500 winner Will Power sent Team Penske-Chevrolet to the top of the speed charts, albeit with the aid of a tow, clocking 226.225 – the first car under the 40sec barrier.

However, Carpenter inched closer and then put his Chevy-powered machine into P1 with a 226.414, before another Chevy engine – that in Max Chilton’s Carlin car – appeared to blow up and brought out the yellows once more.

Sato’s 23rd lap yielded fastest speed of the test, 226.993mph, and he also set the fastest speed without the aid of a tow – a 222.942mph. Before the rain ended the session some 15mins early, Spencer Pigot moved the second ECR-Chevy into third, while Ed Jones in the ECR with Scuderia Corsa entry clocked seventh fastest with his final lap of the session.

Between Jones and fourth-placed Power were two more former winners, Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport and Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Simon Pagenaud, who started second here last year, was eighth in a second Penske, just a tick ahead of compatriot Sebastien Bourdais in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda, and 2016 rookie winner Alexander Rossi in the second fastest Andretti machine.

The 2016 polesitter, James Hinchcliffe, who failed to qualify for last year’s race, turned the most laps of the session – 49 – and finished 15th of the 20 participants.

The 2013 Indy winner Tony Kanaan, who led last year’s Indy for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy, suffered an oil leak that kept his car in the garage for most of the day.

Following more rain, IndyCar is now targeting a 5.45pm ET start time for the Rookies and Refreshers test – including Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Chevrolet – but the all-comers session that was meant to end the day has now been cancelled.

Testing times:

Pos. Driver Time Gap Laps Speed Team
1 Takuma Sato 39.649   32 226.993 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
2 Ed Carpenter 39.750 0.1014 36 226.414 Ed Carpenter Racing
3 Spencer Pigot 39.766 0.1170 41 226.325 Ed Carpenter Racing
4 Will Power 39.783 0.1346 40 226.225 Team Penske
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 39.826 0.1774 32 225.982 Andretti Autosport
6 Scott Dixon 39.893 0.2439 40 225.605 Chip Ganassi Racing
7 Ed Jones 39.895 0.2467 32 225.589 Ed Carpenter Racing
8 Simon Pagenaud 39.901 0.2526 40 225.556 Team Penske
9 Sebastien Bourdais 39.932 0.2828 39 225.385 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan
10 Alexander Rossi 40.011 0.3625 39 224.936 Andretti Autosport
11 Graham Rahal 40.132 0.4834 47 224.259 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
12 Zach Veach 40.214 0.5651 44 223.803 Andretti Autosport
13 Marco Andretti 40.304 0.6556 39 223.301 Andretti Herta Autosport
14 Josef Newgarden 40.352 0.7030 38 223.038 Team Penske
15 James Hinchcliffe 40.359 0.7104 49 222.997 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
16 Jack Harvey 40.398 0.7490 42 222.784 Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM
17 Matheus Leist 40.418 0.7696 34 222.671 AJ Foyt Enterprises
18 Charlie Kimball 40.619 0.9706 18 221.569 Carlin
19 Max Chilton 40.799 1.1502 22 220.594 Carlin
20 Tony Kanaan 7:12.812 6:33.1628 3 20.794 AJ Foyt Enterprises
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Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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