Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power led the way for much of the third practice for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. He was only briefly headed by teammates Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden, who each took turns at the top of the time sheets. However, Power quickly reclaimed the top spot with a lap of 1:06.995. It was also the only lap that dipped below the 1:07 mark.
Newgarden and Castroneves made it a Penske a 1-2-3 in practice, while Mikhail Aleshin was the top Honda driver in fourth. Simon Pagenaud ended up fifth, which put four Penske cars in the top five for the second time this weekend (the Penske quartet went 1-2-3-4 during opening practice on Friday, with Pagenaud leading the way).
The session ran without interruption, the lone incident coming in the form of a quick spin from Ryan Hunter-Reay, who went wide into the grass exiting turn 14 and spun back across the track in front of James Hinchcliffe. However, Hinchcliffe was able to slow himself down in plenty of time to avoid contact and both cars continued on, ending the session sixth (Hinchcliffe) and 11th (Hunter-Reay).
Times are below. Qualifying for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 4:15 p.m. ET (3:15 local time).
INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.
Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.
It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.
Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)