A lap of 1 minute, 6.5316 seconds, set just before time expired, was enough to give Ryan Hunter-Reay top honors for this morning’s first Verizon IndyCar Series practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Hunter-Reay, who enters this weekend’s Honda 200 at 69 points behind championship leader Helio Castroneves, was able to beat out Simon Pagenaud’s lap of 1 minute, 6.6731 seconds.
The two Honda-powered drivers were followed by Chevy-powered Scott Dixon from Chip Ganassi Racing, winners of the last five IndyCar events at Mid-Ohio. Dixon posted a 1 minute, 6.7140-second lap that was good enough for P3 in the session.
Pagenaud’s rookie teammate, Mikhail Aleshin, was fourth-quickest with a 1 minute, 6.7280-second lap. Sebastien Bourdais, one of the winners in the most recent doubleheader weekend at Toronto, rounded out the Top 5 speeds with a 1 minute, 6.8192-second lap.
As you can likely gather from the lap times, the field is tight once again this weekend with one second covering the Top 20 drivers in the first practice. Only Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway (1:07.7806) and rookie Jack Hawksworth (1:08.0129) fell outside of that.
Also interesting to note was that the leaders didn’t run a big amount of laps; Hunter-Reay ran 10 laps, while Pagenaud (six) and Dixon (nine) didn’t touch double-digits.
Pagenaud did tell IndyCar Radio that his team wanted to spread out its own limited tire allotment, hence the relatively short session for him and Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.
A second, 45-minute IndyCar practice session will take place later today at 2 p.m. ET.
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES AT MID-OHIO – FIRST PRACTICE