Road America IndyCar: Newgarden leads Sato in opening practice
Team Penske-Chevrolet’s reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden topped the times in opening practice at Road America by 0.42sec followed by Takuma Sato in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda.
Newgarden lapped the 4.014-mile course in 1min43.0477sec to become the only driver to break the 140mph barrier and comfortably eclipse Sato, who headed one of his erstwhile Andretti Autosport teammates, Alexander Rossi, by just 0.087sec.
Robert Wickens, who made his IndyCar debut here in opening practice last year when he subbed for the visa-troubled Mikhail Aleshin, slotted his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda into fourth, three tenths ahead of Marco Andretti.
Tony Kanaan grabbed sixth, about 1sec off Newgarden, while Spencer Pigot was an encouraging seventh for Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.
Zach Veach, who won here in Indy Lights back in 2016, was eighth, ahead of current championship leader and defending Road America winner Scott Dixon in the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda.
Carlin Racing-Chevy was 15th and 20th with Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball respectively.
James Hinchcliffe survived a wild moment at Turn 8 but was only 17th.
IndyCar debutant Alfonso Celis Jr. was 22nd, but the Juncos Racing-Chevy was only 1.9sec off top spot, well ahead of Harding Racing-Chevy’s Gabby Chaves.
IndyCar, Road America free practice 1
|21||19||Zachary Claman De Melo||15||1'44.9124||1.8647||0.0074||137.738|
|22||32||Alfonso Celis Jr.||14||1'44.9164||1.8687||0.0040||137.733|
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