Alexander Rossi broke up the Chevrolet parade on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner clocked a lap of 1m09.08s in his NAPA Honda to knock Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing and Bowtie Brigade off the perch during testing on the IMS road course.
“I’m happy we were able to have a productive test after the weather washed us out at Barber,” said Rossi, whose fastest lap was originally missed in the unofficial time sheet. “As a team we are working hard, very hard day in and day out and days like these are representative of that.
“All of our effort now is focused on the West Coast swing.”
Power, who has won two of the four Indy GPs, was originally listed with the quick time on a lap of 1m09.14s in his Verizon Chevy, good for second fastest. Teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud turned in the fourth- and fifth-best laps, 1m09.22s and 1m09.30s, respectively.
The start of testing was delayed until temperatures rose above the low 30s.
— Andretti Autosport (@FollowAndretti) March 23, 2018
ECR rookie Jordan King continued to impress with the third-fastest time of 1m09.19s in the Fuzzy’s Chevy, and teammate Spencer Pigot was seventh overall at 1m09.40s.
“Very positive day; the team responded well to what I asked from the car and we made good progress,” said King, who started fourth at St. Pete in his debut and made a nifty outside pass to lead the race.
“It’s going to be 10-15 centigrade warmer when we come back but it was a good day for Spencer and I.”
Pagenaud, also a two-time winner of this race, was quite pleased after his session-high 105 laps.
“Today was a great day, the weather cooperated and we did a lot of laps,” said the 2016 IndyCar champion. “It’s a big change to the last few years, the car behaved very differently and I was having to adjust my driving style.
“But I think we made big progress.”
Sebastien Bourdais, who captured the season opener for Dale Coyne, checked in at 1m09.35s for the sixth-fastest lap.
“We tried a lot of things and even if it doesn’t completely apply to when we come back, you get the feeling for what the car responds to and what it wants,” he said. “we made a decent amount of changes and the car feels pretty good.
“Actually it was quite valid until 4:30 when the track cooled off.”
Asked about what to expect come May 12, Bourdais replied:
“I don’t know, this car has less drag and doesn’t suck up as well, but thankfully the straight is long here and you’re gonna need to it make a pass.”
Robert Wickens was scheduled to participate but was sidelined with a muscle injury.