Sebastien Bourdais kicked off the Honda Indy 200 weekend at Mid-Ohio in the best possible fashion by finishing as the quickest driver in the first practice session on Friday morning.
Bourdais recorded a fastest lap time of 1:06.2034 late on to finish 0.16 seconds clear of Will Power in second place in a close first session in perfect weather conditions.
The 75-minute session was interrupted by three red flag periods due to drivers stopping out on track. Luca Filippi was beached at turn five after spinning in the no. 20 CFH Racing car, requiring assistance to get back going.
Tony Kanaan made a similar error later in the session, whilst Simon Pagenaud was also responsible for a red flag after hitting the tire wall. He was, however, able to continue in the session.
Juan Pablo Montoya spent the majority of the session stuck in his garage after an alternator issue emerged on his Penske no. 2 car before the green flag was shown. The team worked frantically to fix the problem, allowing the Colombian to get out on track with 20 minutes remaining. He eventually finished 23rd in the timesheets, nine-tenths of a second down on Bourdais at the top.
Behind Power in second, two-time race winner Josef Newgarden finished third for CFH Racing ahead of Takuma Sato. Jack Hawksworth led for much of the session, but could only finish fifth in the end.
Mid-Ohio specialist Scott Dixon finished sixth in first practice ahead of fellow title contender Graham Rahal. Marco Andretti slotted into eighth at the end of the session ahead of Carlos Munoz and Simon Pagenaud, who rounded out the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.
Second practice at Mid-Ohio is set to start at 3:15pm ET, and will run until 4:30pm ET.