Sonoma IndyCar: Newgarden on top in opening practice

Championship leader Josef Newgarden threw down the gauntlet to his Team Penske-Chevrolet teammates and title rivals by topping opening practice for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series finale.

Sonoma IndyCar: Newgarden on top in opening practice

Newgarden, who has twice started from the front row at Sonoma Raceway, edged teammate Will Power – a five-time polesitter here – by 0.0372sec with his second flying lap of the morning. His 1min16.3950sec best equated to an average of 112.390mph around the 2.385-mile course.

Their teammate Simon Pagenaud, who dominated at Sonoma last year on his #98 Andretti Autosport entry, less than a tenth slower than Pagenaud.

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing-Honda) was fifth, showing a clear return to form since his comeback from his fearsome Indianapolis injuries. He was just ahead of fellow four-time US open-wheel champion Scott Dixon, who is gunning for his fifth title this weekend, and arrives just three points behind Newgarden.

Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti made it three Andretti Autosport cars in the top 10, separated by Brazilians Helio Castroneves (Penske) and Tony Kanaan (Ganassi).

Takuma Sato’s crew rebuilt his #26 car’s left-rear corner after his shunt in practice yesterday, and he wound up 12th.

Jack Harvey, making his second road course IndyCar start, was 20th, just half a second slower than Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate James Hinchcliffe.

Indy Lights ace Zachary Claman DeMelo, making his IndyCar debut this weekend was 1.55sec off the pace and 1sec slower than Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda teammate Graham Rahal.

IndyCar, Sonoma FP1

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 2 united_states  Josef Newgarden  8 1'16.3950     112.390
2 12 australia  Will Power  10 1'16.4322 0.0372 0.0372 112.335
3 1 france  Simon Pagenaud  10 1'16.5047 0.1097 0.0725 112.228
4 98 united_states  Alexander Rossi  13 1'16.5720 0.1770 0.0673 112.130
5 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  15 1'16.6060 0.2110 0.0340 112.080
6 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  10 1'16.6197 0.2247 0.0137 112.060
7 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  9 1'16.6711 0.2761 0.0514 111.985
8 3 brazil  Helio Castroneves  7 1'16.7025 0.3075 0.0314 111.939
9 10 brazil  Tony Kanaan  8 1'16.7484 0.3534 0.0459 111.872
10 27 united_states  Marco Andretti  8 1'16.7843 0.3893 0.0359 111.820
11 15 united_states  Graham Rahal  13 1'16.9072 0.5122 0.1229 111.641
12 26 japan  Takuma Sato  16 1'16.9676 0.5726 0.0604 111.553
13 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  7 1'17.1210 0.7260 0.1534 111.332
14 21 united_states  J.R. Hildebrand  16 1'17.3287 0.9337 0.2077 111.033
15 19 united_arab_emirates  Ed Jones  11 1'17.3960 1.0010 0.0673 110.936
16 20 united_states  Spencer Pigot  13 1'17.4254 1.0304 0.0294 110.894
17 83 united_states  Charlie Kimball  13 1'17.4384 1.0434 0.0130 110.875
18 8 united_kingdom  Max Chilton  12 1'17.4736 1.0786 0.0352 110.825
19 14 colombia  Carlos Munoz  13 1'17.5451 1.1501 0.0715 110.723
20 7 united_kingdom  Jack Harvey  11 1'17.6168 1.2218 0.0717 110.620
21 4 united_states  Conor Daly  17 1'17.6566 1.2616 0.0398 110.564
22 13 canada  Zachary Claman DeMelo  16 1'17.9506 1.5556 0.2940 110.147
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