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Sato keeps RLL on top during Saturday afternoon testing at ISM Raceway

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s strong Friday pace at ISM Raceway carried over into Saturday, with Takuma Sato topping the speed charts for the second time during the Verizon IndyCar Series’ open test at the one-mile bullring.

Sato’s best lap in the No. 15 Mijack Honda came in at average speed of 189.728 mph, the quickest lap turned in so far.

“So we had another really good session today,” Sato said in a video on the team’s twitter page. “Today was really the final chance to try a qualifying simulation in a hot day, time and temperature, before the actual race. We did a couple of qualifier sims and most of it was a proper run. You see some big teams come up and are very close to the lap time, but we are very competitive again. (Teammate Graham Rahal) and I are just splitting the program out, but we’re looking good.”

Team Penske’s Will Power put his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet in second with a quick lap of 189.276 mph, the only other driver to break into the 189 mph bracket.

Third was Scott Dixon in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, followed by the No. 28 DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay for Andretti Autosport. Simon Pagenaud joined Penske teammate Will Power in the top five, coming in fifth in his No. 22 Menards Chevrolet.

The clean running from Friday continued on Saturday as well, with the only stoppages coming in the form of track inspections.

Of note: while 23 cars took to the track on Friday, only 22 did so on Saturday. Juncos Racing and driver Kyle Kaiser elected to head home early from the Phoenix test after turning a total of 254 laps between both Friday sessions as well as Thursday’s rookie test, and their No. 32 Chevrolet did not participate in the Saturday running.

Results from Saturday afternoon’s session can be found here. The final session of the weekend rolls off at 8:00 p.m. ET, with streaming continuing on IndyCar’s website.

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IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold