Detroit IndyCar: Power tops practice as Chevrolet goes 1-2-3

Will Power headed Sebastien Bourdais and Pato O’Ward in an entertaining practice session ahead of IndyCar’s only double-header.

The #12 Team Penske-Chevrolet driver set the fastest time on the harder compound primary Firestones with a 1min17.6869sec, before Alexander Rossi on a set of softer alternates edged ahead by just 0.03sec.

O’Ward initially couldn’t improve his time on reds, but then laid down a 1min17.5143. But that wasn’t enough to put him top as Sebastien Bourdais had delivered a 1min17.4291sec for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet.

On reds, Power couldn’t improve for several laps, but three-time Detroit GP winner Scott Dixon could, and wound up fastest of the Honda contingent, ahead of Rossi, Herta and Dixon’s teammate Marcus Ericsson.

Then Power on his final lap produced a 1min17.2768sec lap around the 2.35-mile 14-turn course, 0.15sec than Bourdais.

Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing never set a time on primaries as he launched over the grass at Turn 1 and came back into the pits for a thorough checkover

Romain Grosjean in the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda with RWR-Honda spun on his 18th lap down at Turn 4, but managed to merely skim the advertising banner covering the tire wall, so spun-turn his car and continued. He eventually finished the session in 13th, 1.3sec off top spot.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin understeered into the tire wall at Turn 5 on his sixth lap, breaking his right front suspension and wing, which caused Jimmie Johnson to spin the #48 Ganassi – flat spotting his tires but keeping the car off the wall. McLaughlin described his own shunt as a “stupid mistake”, and it meant he missed the remainder of the session.

Alex Palou, championship leader, turned the most laps – 31 – but was only 15th.

Detroit’s Belle Isle course proved a tough nut for Palou’s teammate Johnson who ended up 5.4sec off the ultimate pace.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 Australia Will Power
United States Team Penske 26 1'17.276 109.477
2 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 27 1'17.429 0.152 109.261
3 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Arrow McLaren SP 22 1'17.514 0.237 109.141
4 New Zealand Scott Dixon
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 20 1'17.617 0.341 108.996
5 United States Alexander Rossi
United States Andretti Autosport 23 1'17.658 0.381 108.938
6 United States Colton Herta
Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 21 1'17.812 0.535 108.723
7 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 25 1'17.972 0.696 108.499
8 United States Josef Newgarden
United States Team Penske 23 1'18.032 0.756 108.416
9 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 32 1'18.145 0.869 108.259
10 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
United States Andretti Autosport 27 1'18.203 0.926 108.180
11 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 22 1'18.496 1.219 107.776
12 Japan Takuma Sato
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 23 1'18.517 1.240 107.746
13 France Romain Grosjean
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 29 1'18.585 1.308 107.654
14 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Arrow McLaren SP 23 1'18.754 1.477 107.423
15 Spain Alex Palou
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 31 1'18.799 1.522 107.361
16 United States Graham Rahal
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 23 1'18.819 1.542 107.334
17 United States Conor Daly
United States Ed Carpenter Racing 24 1'18.873 1.597 107.260
18 United Kingdom Max Chilton
United Kingdom Carlin 26 1'18.877 1.600 107.255
19 France Simon Pagenaud
United States Team Penske 21 1'18.893 1.616 107.234
20 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 19 1'19.080 1.804 106.979
21 United Kingdom Jack Harvey
United States Meyer Shank Racing 19 1'19.313 2.036 106.666
22 United States Santino Ferrucci
United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 22 1'19.340 2.063 106.629
23 Canada Dalton Kellett
United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 28 1'20.807 3.530 104.694
24 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
United States Team Penske 5 1'21.125 3.848 104.283
25 United States Jimmie Johnson
United States Chip Ganassi Racing 26 1'22.735 5.458 102.254
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