Race Weekend Central

Takuma Sato Leads Way in Indianapolis 500 Open Test, Colton Herta Leads Rookie/Refresher Test

Despite rain causing issues all day long, the NTT Data IndyCar Series completed its first test for next month’s Indianapolis 500 on April 24.

Just 11 minutes into the session, rain showed interfered. Four hours later, the track had dried and cars went back on track. Drivers like defending Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power, Takuma Sato and other full-timers took to the track, with Sato taking the fastest lap. Sato turned a 226.993 mph lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Last year’s polesitter Ed Carpenter (226.414 mph) finished the session in second, followed by Spencer Pigot (226.325 mph), Power (226.225 mph) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (225.982 mph) rounded out the top five speeds in full-time testing.

Full-Time Driver Testing Results

The session was slowed once for an incident involving Max Chilton, who blew an engine.

It rained once again at the end of the session, putting an hour-long delay on the rookies and veterans who needed a refresher session. Those drivers were able to squeeze about 90 minutes of on-track time before rain returned and ultimately ended the day.

Before the rain came, Colton Herta was able to post the fastest lap of the session with a 226.108 mph lap.

Four-time winner Helio Castroneves (225.565 mph) finished the session in second, followed by Oriol Servia (222.755 mph). Felix Rosenqvist (222.578 mph) and Conor Daly (221.594 mph) rounded out the top five speeds in rookie/veteran refresher.

Rookie and Veteran Refresher Testing Results

Fernando Alonso returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since his strong showing in 2017. Alonso experienced mechanical issues early in the session, which hindered the No. 66 team from doing much during the abbreviated session. He finished the session in ninth, 1.3502 seconds off leader Herta.

The stars of the NTT Data IndyCar Series returns to competition to officially kick off the Month of May in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 11. The race will be shown live on NBC starting at 3 p.m. E.T.

About the author

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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