Wickens, Bourdais Head Honda Attack in Practice at Road America

  • Robert Wickens runs second fastest in afternoon practice, Sebastien Bourdais third
  • Takuma Sato posts second-quickest time in morning session
  • All five Honda teams represented in top eight overall results on Friday

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 22, 2018) – Honda drivers Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais led the way for Honda Friday at Road America, ending the opening day of practice in second and third places, respectively, in preparation for Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series race.

Wickens took his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda to a best time of 1:42.9025 around the classic 4-mile road course in central Wisconsin, to finish the day second overall behind Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden. St. Petersburg race winner Bourdais slotted in just behind, third, at 1:43.0020 for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.

All five Honda-powered teams had at least one representative in the top nine overall results on Friday, with Graham Rahal running sixth fastest in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda. Rahal’s teammate, Takuma Sato, ran second fastest in the morning practice before ending the day eighth overall. Scott Dixon, the defending Road America winner and already a two-time IndyCar Series victor in 2018, ended Friday in seventh. Detroit race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay took his Honda to ninth for Andretti Autosport; while teammate and Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Activities continue Saturday at Road America with final practice and qualifying for Sunday’s 55-lap, 220-mile race. The 10th round of the 2018 season begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) 2nd fastest on Friday: “I think it was a pretty decent Friday. The Lucas Oil car feels good and we’re making good progress. We were top five in both sessions, but it’s only Friday, so we still have to work hard and keep our heads down. Initial signs are pretty positive for, hopefully, a good weekend.”

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) 3rd fastest in opening-day practice: “Yeah, I’m pretty happy with the day. Our guys did a good job. The Firestone [soft compound] red [sidewall] tires are definitely giving a huge amount of grip in comparison to the [black sidewall primary tires]. But for us, it really wasn’t much of a balance change, so that was nice. We could definitely get a pretty decent run. Consistency was quite good, as well, so we’re looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Verizon IndyCar Series Kohler Grand Prix

Circuit:                             Road America (4.0-mile road course) Elkhart Lake, Wis.

2017 Winner:     Scott Dixon [Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 123.431 mph average

Weather:           Partly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F

 

Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:42.6279 140.804 mph
2. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:42.9025  
3. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 1:43.0020  
4. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:43.0545  
5. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 1:43.1599  
6. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:43.1995  
7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:43.4212  
8. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:43.4729  
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.4755
10. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.5603  

Other Honda Results

11. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.6599  
13. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:43.6899  
14. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.9088  
15. Zachary Claman De Melo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:43.9204  
18. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:44.1869