Indy 500 practice: Rahal tops Wednesday session, Hildebrand crashes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal set the fastest speed in IndyCar’s Thursday testing ahead of the 2018 Indianapolis 500.

Rahal had played down a perceived lack of speed ahead of the practice session and went fastest early in the day’s session.

In a day of little movement up and down the timesheets, Rahal’s best speed of 226.047mph proved the fastest.

The session’s final 20 minutes were notable for the first non-track inspection caution of the week when JR Hildebrand got high out of Turn 3 and collided with the wall on the exit of Turn 4.

He damaged the rear of his car and moved to the infield before he was later cleared from the medical centre without injury.

No true fast laps were set in the final 10 minutes, so AJ Foyt Racing driver and one-time Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan ended the session second ahead of Wednesday pacesetter Marco Andretti.

Ed Carpenter and Sage Karam were fourth and fifth ahead of Penske’s Josef Newgarden.

Zachary Claman De Melo continued preparations for his maiden Indy 500 in place of Pietro Fittipaldi with the seventh-fastest lap.

Helio Castroneves was a late mover to eighth fastest, completing the most laps of any driver with a total of 110 as he builds towards attempting to win the race for a fourth time.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot was ninth ahead of Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves.

Penske’s Simon Pagenaud was 11th ahead of a late improvement from Scott Dixon in his Chip Ganassi Racing-run car.

Pagenaud’s team-mate Will Power set the 13th fastest time overall, but his 223.971mph lap without a tow was unbeaten.

Notable drivers lower down the timesheets included Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in 15th, seven places ahead of Andretti’s Alexander Rossi.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens was two places further back from Rossi in 24th, with Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay 26th.

Danica Patrick worked her way from the rear of the field up to 30th, one place ahead of James Hinchcliffe in the 35-car field.

Defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato was 33rd.

IndyCar testing resumes with ‘Fast Friday’, which is expected to give some indication of the pace that drivers will hit in this weekend’s qualifying.

Thursday practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Speed Gap Laps
1 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 226.047 39.8148s 102
2 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 225.896 0.0266s 62
3 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 225.584 0.0816s 86
4 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 225.093 0.1686s 97
5 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 224.920 0.1994s 72
6 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 224.713 0.2362s 75
7 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 224.665 0.2448s 60
8 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 224.575 0.2609s 110
9 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 224.251 0.3188s 86
10 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 224.180 0.3315s 73
11 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 224.158 0.3354s 87
12 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 223.973 0.3686s 98
13 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 223.971 0.3689s 90
14 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 223.746 0.4094s 59
15 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 223.691 0.4192s 82
16 Oriol Servia Scuderia Corsa Dallara/Honda 223.641 0.4283s 62
17 Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 223.606 0.4345s 73
18 Jack Harvey Michael Shank Racing Dallara/Honda 223.556 0.4436s 94
19 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 223.379 0.4755s 79
20 J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 223.351 0.4806s 57
21 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 223.324 0.4854s 32
22 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 222.979 0.5477s 85
23 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 222.978 0.5479s 78
24 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 222.886 0.5645s 63
25 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 222.760 0.5875s 91
26 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 222.716 0.5954s 92
27 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 222.667 0.6043s 45
28 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 222.396 0.6536s 96
29 James Davison AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 222.283 0.6742s 81
30 Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 222.216 0.6863s 68
31 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 222.157 0.6970s 83
32 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 222.114 0.7050s 69
33 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 221.776 0.7667s 89
34 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 221.583 0.8020s 89
35 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 221.343 0.8460s 106

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