Honda Strong Again During “Fast Friday” at Indianapolis

  • Honda drivers, teams claim top four positions Friday, and 11 of top 12
  • Fernando Alonso ends practice fourth overall, fastest rookie
  • Qualifying to set the 33-car field takes place this weekend

SPEEDWAY, Ind., (May 19, 2017) – “Fast Friday” lived up to its name today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Honda drivers dominated the speed chart in the final day of practice before qualifying begins Saturday for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.

With turbocharger boost turned up to the higher, qualifying levels permitted by series rules, Honda drivers led by Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais claimed the top four speeds after five days of practice.  Honda drivers and teams also claimed 11 of the top 12 positions today, despite mid-afternoon rain that caused a halt in the action for approximately two and a half hours of the six-hour session.

Following Bourdais in second through fourth were Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Takuma Sato and two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso.  The 2016 pole winner, James Hinchcliffe, made a big jump in speed on Friday to end practice sixth fastest for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, followed by teammates Mikhail Aleshin and Jay Howard, in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Another Honda rookie, Ed Jones, ended the week ninth overall, followed by the defending race winner, Alexander Rossi.  Chip Ganassi Racing teammates – and previous “500” winners – Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon round out the top 12 for Honda.

First-round qualifying on Saturday will determine the contenders for the pole in Sunday’s “Fast Nine” shootout, with final qualifying then setting the field for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28.

Sebastien Bourdais (#18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda) fastest in Indianapolis 500 practice: “Yeah, there’s never a bad day when you’re at the front. Definitely happy with the way things turned out for us this week.  The car felt good. We tried a couple of [changes] and finished the session really happy with the speed and the car balance. Hopefully, it stays that way.  Indianapolis is a tricky place. When you get any sense of consistency through different conditions – sunny, shade, different track temps, humidity, wind – it always gives you confidence. You never know what’s going to come at you the next day. I think tomorrow’s [qualifying] is going to be another example of that. We’ll just hopefully be able to deal with those conditions very well and, you know, make it happen when it matters, ’cause this is obviously awesome.”

 

Indianapolis 500 Day 5 “Fast Friday” Practice

Circuit:               Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN

2016 Winner:    Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) 166.634 mph average

Weather:           Mostly cloudy, mid-afternoon rain, mild, humid, 78 degrees F

 Indianapolis 500 Practice Results (Combined Monday-Friday):

Ps. Driver      Team Manufacturer Best Speed Day Set
  1. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Honda 233.116 Friday
  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 232.132 Friday
  3. Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport Honda 231.969 Friday
  4. Fernando Alonso-R McLaren Honda-Andretti Honda 231.827 Friday
  5. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet 231.682 Friday
  6. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 231.517 Friday
  7. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 231.446 Friday
  8. Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 231.255 Friday
  9. Ed Jones-R Dale Coyne Racing             Honda 231.252 Friday
10. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 231.191 Friday
11. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 231.054 Friday
12. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 231.016 Friday
13. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 230.982 Friday
14. Oriol Servia Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 230.887 Friday
15. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 230.769 Friday
16. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 230.717 Friday
17. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 230.712 Friday
18. Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 230.636 Friday
19. JR Hildebrand Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 230.627 Friday
20. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 230.335 Friday
21. Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing             Honda 230.103 Friday
22. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 230.007 Friday
23. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 229.973 Friday
24. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 228.624 Friday
25. Jack Harvey-R Michael Shank-Andretti Honda 228.426 Friday
26. Sage Karem Dryer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 228.159 Friday
27. Carlos Munoz A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 227.956 Friday
28. Conor Daly A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 227.225 Friday
29. Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Chevrolet 227.168 Friday
30. Zach Veach-R A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 227.082 Friday
31. Sebastian Saavedra Juncos Racing Chevrolet 226.224 Friday
32. Spencer Pigot Juncos Racing Chevrolet 226.170 Friday
33. Buddy Lazier Lazier Racing Chevrolet 219.640 Friday