A 229.607mph lap from Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson in the first half of Thursday’s six-hour practice session for the Indianapolis 500 remained unbeaten when running drew to a close, although teammate Scott Dixon pulled out a 229.186mph lap to launch himself into the same bracket.
Local hero Conor Daly got as high as third for Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet with two-time winner Takuma Sato snatching fourth, and two Andretti Autosport cars – those of Colton Herta and Kyle Kirkwood – moving into the top dozen.
Into happy hour, with long trains of 10-12 cars out on track, Ericsson and Dixon stood firm in the top two slots, but then 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud of Meyer Shank Racing and 2018 winner Will Power of Team Penske moved into the top four, ahead of Herta.
Agustin Canapino continues to impress for Juncos Hollinger Racing, clocking 15th fastest, quickest of the rookies.
In the final quarter-hour, Ericsson also claimed the top lap speed set without the aid of a tow, his 224.414mph effort pushing him ahead of Power. Santino Ferrucci of A.J. Foyt Racing, with Scott McLaughlin’s Penske, Dixon, Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing and Newgarden completing the top eight.
There was an alarming incident when RC Enerson of new team Abel Motorsports was being descended on by a pack, bailed into the pit exit lane and had to skim worryingly close to Pato O’Ward who was just coming out of the pits.
This was the last time the cars will run their BorgWarner turbos at 1.3-bar boost – race-level – until the couple of hours practice held next Monday. Tomorrow, ‘Fast Friday’, they will run at 1.5-bar boost in preparation for qualifying weekend.
UP NEXT: Fast Friday, 12pm-6pm ET