Sato, Carpenter top IndyCar field at IMS open test

IndyCar drivers participate in an open test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval (WXIN April 24, 2019).

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Motor Speedway dusted off the oval for an IndyCar open test, Wednesday morning.

Though it would better be said IMS dried off the oval.

Race teams dodged showers throughout the afternoon and evening as 29 drivers began the process of preparing for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

“Obviously,” explained James Hinchcliffe, driver of the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, “the weather conditions are not super representative of what we will face in May, and the rain didn’t help, but we got through a decent chunk of what we were hoping to accomplish, which given the time we had, was great.”

2017 Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato was the fastest on the day, turning a lap at 226.993 mph.

“Today was meant to be a shakedown of the car, to just check all the functions and feel it out,” said the Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver. “From that point of view, I think it was a very smooth day.”

2018 runner-up Ed Carpenter was second-fastest at 226.414 mph.

“It’s always good to be back in the car,” sad the ECR owner/driver. “It was kind of an odd day, with a little a bit running, then rain, a bit more running and rain again. It feels a little incomplete.”

Veterans totaled about 106 minutes of track time while the rookie and veteran refresher group had about 90 minutes on the oval.

“Getting time in the car was the most important thing today for sure,” said Andretti Autosport driver Conor Daly. “Just getting in, immediately the balance and the difference in what I’ve driven in the past is massive – and the difference is really nice. It was really, really nice to drive and for me it was really just getting used to this platform.”

The first official Indianapolis 500 practice will take place on the IMS oval on Tuesday, May 14.

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