Sebastien Bourdais showed the way in Thursday morning’s opening practice period for Saturday’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Fast all season for KV Racing but nothing to show results-wise, the four-time Champ Car king put down a lap of 1:10.5 in his Dallara-Chevrolet on the revamped 2.4-mile road course inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It was a full second slower than Scott Dixon’s top lap of 1:09.5 in the open test last month but still gave Bourdais a fourth-tenths of a second lead on Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The 2012 Verizon IndyCar champion was the only other driver to crack the 1:11.0 barrier as he managed a 1:10.9 in his DHL Dallara-Honda.
Simon Pagenaud led the 1:11 brigade with a lap of 1:11.004 in the SPH DW12-Honda, followed by Josef Newgarden at 1:11.018 in the Klipsch Dallara-Honda and Dixon at 1:11.045 in his Target Dallara-Chevy.
Rookie Mikhail Aleshin checked in at 1:11.101 in the other SPH entry as all 25 cars posted times. Mike Conway, the winner at Long Beach last month, was surprisingly slowest at 1:12.0.