After threatening to break through as fastest driver on Thursday, Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports was able to complete the task in a damp, mixed condition third practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis Friday morning. Despite morning showers, the Verizon IndyCar Series and Friday schedule kicked off without delay.
The driver of the No. 77 Charter Communications/Oculus Honda clocked in at 1:23.1597, some 13 seconds slower than Thursday’s times in the dry.
Fellow Charter-sponsored driver Jack Hawksworth, in the No. 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian that is also sporting another new sponsor this weekend, was second at 1:23.1732.
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power and Carlos Munoz completed the top five.
Power had an eventful session with a pair of spins, neither of which damaged the car. Meanwhile Mikhail Aleshin, one of Thursday’s practice stars, had a spin to end the session and another on-track moment around Sebastien Bourdais, his Barber nemesis, at exit to Turn 7 earlier in the session. Both went off course and recovered, with Bourdais coming out of Turn 14 ahead of the Russian rookie.
Ryan Briscoe also had a moment in Turn 4, and his off caused the first red flag of the 45-minute session.
Firestone Fast Six qualifying commences at 2 p.m. EDT.
Here’s your practice three times.