Pato O’Ward fired his No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevy to the top of the list in the opening practice session for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, as most of the 27-deep field of drivers completed qualifying simulation runs at the end of the 75-minute outing.
Prior to O’Ward’s posting of a 1m09.4981s lap, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team flexed its collective muscles for the first time this season as Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard recorded laps that stood atop the session at various points in the overcast morning.
Once the checkered flag waved, it was Lundgaard and the No. 45 Honda that was closest to O’Ward, missing just 0.0007s in the end. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou was also fast, holding third with a 1m09.5213s in the No. 10 Honda. Team Penske also weighed in with its most recent winner, Scott McLaughlin, who claimed fourth in the No. 3 Chevy with a 1m09.5465s, and RLL’s Harvey wasn’t far behind in fifth, turning a 1m09.5976s lap in the No. 30 Honda. O’Ward’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist completed the top six with a 1m09.7152s run in the No. 6 Chevy.
Adversity was kept to a minimum on this busy day where a second practice session and qualifying are on the horizon. Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta suffered a fire on the left side of the No. 26 Honda’s engine bay during his installation lap; the problem was rectified with four minutes left in the session, which allowed Herta to turn another installation lap before pitting the have the rear of the car inspected.
Josef Newgarden attempted to pull away from pit lane to perform his qualifying simulation, but a clutch issue left him stuck on pit lane. Other than a few instances where drivers touched the wall under braking, there were no incidents or red flags.
UP NEXT: FP2, 1pm ET.