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July 15, 2024
Indy 500: Ericsson fastest in Thursday practice at 229.6mph


Ericsson lapped the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in 39.1974s, at a speed of 229.607mph in his Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing car.

He led fellow Indy 500 victors Scott Dixon (his Ganassi team-mate), Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing) and Team Penske’s Will Power in the six-hour session.

Teams started the day in qualifying trim in perfect weather conditions, with Ericsson setting the early pace at 226.930mph, his CGR-Honda running behind a trio of Arrow McLaren Chevys.

McLaren’s Alexander Rossi took P1 for a moment with 227.713mph before another Ganassi driver Alex Palou – who was running behind those four cars – pipped him with 227.718mph.

Ericsson then produced his huge lap of 229.607mph in the tow after 45 minutes, with McLaren’s Pato O’Ward going P2 with 227.734mph.

Teams then focused on race runs for the majority of the afternoon, although Dixon leapt up to P2 on 229.186mph when he got a good tow with a couple of hours remaining. Conor Daly moved to third for Ed Carpenter Racing at 228.215mph, in front of yesterday’s pacesetter Takuma Sato (CGR).

As the final ‘Happy Hour’ unfolded, the cars packed up once more to give strong tows. Pagenaud jumped to P3 with 228.681mph, ahead of Will Power’s 228.577mph – the latter the fastest Chevrolet-powered runner among a Honda-packed top five.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

But nobody else was able to get into the 229mph bracket to rival Ganassi’s top two. Colton Herta took fifth place for Andretti Autosport at 228.240mph, ahead of Daly, Sato, O’Ward, Palou and Rossi.

Like yesterday’s session, there were very little incidents to report apart from O’Ward almost getting taken out by RC Enerson (Abel Motorsports), who veered off the track onto the apron at racing speed before Turn 1 and into the pitlane exit, just as the McLaren driver was leaving. Fortunately, no contact was made – but it was reported that Enerson had lost contact with his spotter.

O’Ward said: “I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose but that was definitely a close one! Exiting pitlane I was not expecting that. He must’ve seen me, and I know these oval cars are difficult to stop, but that could’ve been nasty for sure.”

In the no-tow charts, Ericsson set a late 224.414mph to lead Power (224.283mph) and Santino Ferrucci (AJ Foyt Racing) on 224.277mph.

Practice resumes on Friday in Indy at noon, local time, for another six hours of running. Fast Friday, as it is known, sees the BorgWarner turbos common to the Honda and Chevrolet engines get wound up from 1.3-bar boost to 1.5-bar, a level at which they’ll remain until the end of qualifying on Sunday evening.

P

#

Name

FTime

Gap

Interval

Speed (mph)

Engine

1

8

Marcus Ericsson

39.1974

39.1974

–.—-

229.607

Honda

2

9

Scott Dixon

39.2694

0.0720

0.0720

229.186

Honda

3

60

Simon Pagenaud

39.3562

0.1588

0.0868

228.681

Honda

4

12

Will Power

39.3740

0.1766

0.0178

228.577

Chevy

5

26

Colton Herta

39.4321

0.2347

0.0581

228.240

Honda

6

20

Conor Daly

39.4365

0.2391

0.0044

228.215

Chevy

7

11

Takuma Sato

39.5052

0.3078

0.0687

227.818

Honda

8

5

Pato O’Ward

39.5198

0.3224

0.0146

227.734

Chevy

9

10

Alex Palou

39.5225

0.3251

0.0027

227.718

Honda

10

7

Alexander Rossi

39.5234

0.3260

0.0009

227.713

Chevy

11

14

Santino Ferrucci

39.5561

0.3587

0.0327

227.525

Chevy

12

15

Graham Rahal

39.6523

0.4549

0.0962

226.973

Honda

13

66

Tony Kanaan

39.6790

0.4816

0.0267

226.820

Chevy

14

27

Kyle Kirkwood

39.7015

0.5041

0.0225

226.692

Honda

15

78

Agustin Canapino

39.7091

0.5117

0.0076

226.648

Chevy

16

6

Felix Rosenqvist

39.7189

0.5215

0.0098

226.592

Chevy

17

98

Marco Andretti

39.7239

0.5265

0.0050

226.564

Honda

18

06

Helio Castroneves

39.7357

0.5383

0.0118

226.497

Honda

19

51

Sting Ray Robb

39.7512

0.5538

0.0155

226.408

Honda

20

2

Josef Newgarden

39.8207

0.6233

0.0695

226.013

Chevy

21

30

Jack Harvey

39.8281

0.6307

0.0074

225.971

Honda

22

23

Ryan Hunter-Reay

39.8317

0.6343

0.0036

225.951

Chevy

23

18

David Malukas

39.8340

0.6366

0.0023

225.938

Honda

24

3

Scott McLaughlin

39.8398

0.6424

0.0058

225.905

Chevy

25

28

Romain Grosjean

39.8433

0.6459

0.0035

225.885

Honda

26

55

Benjamin Pedersen

39.9234

0.7260

0.0801

225.432

Chevy

27

45

Christian Lundgaard

39.9698

0.7724

0.0464

225.170

Honda

28

50

RC Enerson

39.9801

0.7827

0.0103

225.112

Chevy

29

29

Devlin DeFrancesco

39.9913

0.7939

0.0112

225.049

Honda

30

21

Rinus VeeKay

39.9950

0.7976

0.0037

225.028

Chevy

31

33

Ed Carpenter

40.0167

0.8193

0.0217

224.906

Chevy

32

77

Callum Ilott

40.0486

0.8512

0.0319

224.727

Chevy

33

24

Stefan Wilson

40.0582

0.8608

0.0096

224.673

Chevy

34

44

Katherine Legge

40.1905

0.9931

0.1323

223.934

Honda

 



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