Gateway IndyCar: Rossi leads rain-interrupted first practice

An impressive qualifying sim saw championship challenger Alexander Rossi put his Andretti Autosport-Honda at the top of the speed charts at Gateway Motorsports Park, but track moisture and rain sprinkles kept green-flag time to only 22 minutes.

Gateway IndyCar: Rossi leads rain-interrupted first practice

The session, which had been delayed by more than three hours, was not entirely representative, in that the Penske drivers only seemed to find a clear track after several laps on their tires, and wound up only 10th through 12th, but Andretti Autosport’s test here four weeks ago might still have left them top.

Rossi’s best lap around the 1.25-mile oval was a 24.4003sec/184.424mph, which compares with last year’s pole time of 189mph, while Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Scott Dixon – who didn’t test here – was second, on 182.773.

Dale Coyne Racing-Honda’s Sebastien Bourdais (tested here) was third ahead of a highly impressive Tony Kanaan (AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet) who didn’t test.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was sixth fastest ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot, with rookie Zach Veach in eighth ahead of James Hinchcliffe in the solo Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry followed by the three Penske entries.

Gabby Chaves, after missing the last three events as Conor Daly temporarily took over his Harding Racing-Chevrolet, finished the session 15th.

IndyCar has elected to forego qualifying and set the grid by entrant points, allowing time for a second practice before the K&N NASCAR race this evening.

Gateway, IndyCar first practice

Cla # Driver Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 27 United States Alexander Rossi 29 24.4003     184.424
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon 33 24.6207 0.2204 0.2204 182.773
3 18 France Sébastien Bourdais 13 24.6339 0.2336 0.0132 182.675
4 14 Brazil Tony Kanaan 27 24.6651 0.2648 0.0312 182.444
5 10 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones 32 24.6759 0.2756 0.0108 182.364
6 28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay 25 24.7807 0.3804 0.1048 181.593
7 21 United States Spencer Pigot 33 24.7932 0.3929 0.0125 181.501
8 26 United States Zach Veach 30 24.8065 0.4062 0.0133 181.404
9 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe 28 24.8716 0.4713 0.0651 180.929
10 1 United States Josef Newgarden 26 24.9405 0.5402 0.0689 180.429
11 12 Australia Will Power 38 25.0010 0.6007 0.0605 179.993
12 22 France Simon Pagenaud 34 25.0026 0.6023 0.0016 179.981
13 20 United States Ed Carpenter 26 25.0165 0.6162 0.0139 179.881
14 15 United States Graham Rahal 34 25.0289 0.6286 0.0124 179.792
15 88 Colombia Gabby Chaves 37 25.2112 0.8109 0.1823 178.492
16 98 United States Marco Andretti 18 25.2536 0.8533 0.0424 178.192
17 19 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi 36 25.4487 1.0484 0.1951 176.826
18 23 United States Charlie Kimball 32 25.4874 1.0871 0.0387 176.558
19 59 United Kingdom Max Chilton 34 25.4932 1.0929 0.0058 176.518
20 4 Brazil Matheus Leist 31 25.6340 1.2337 0.1408 175.548
21 30 Japan Takuma Sato 29 25.6798 1.2795 0.0458 175.235
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