Tony Kanaan and Robert Wickens posted identical times in Friday’s practice session for the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap of 220.014 mph.
Kanaan sat on top of the leaderboard until the final minute of practice, when he was joined by Wickens.
Sebastian Bourdais (219.619 mph), Alexander Rossi (219.355) and Gabby Chaves (219.064) rounded out the top five.
Last week’s winner of race one at Detroit’s Belle Isle Raceway Will Power was 15th fastest (217.214), while the winner of race two Ryan Hunter-Reay was 18th (215.958).
The first 30 minutes of Friday’s one-and-a-half hour practice session used primarily to scuff tires, but it was not without incident.
After posting the second fastest lap of 208.904 mph to that point, Zachary Claman De Melo stalled on track with an electronic throttle issue while there was still one hour remaining in practice. He brought out the yellow flag. De Melo eventually settled into 19th on the speed chart with a 215.009 mph lap.
Max Chilton also had a throttle issue early in practice while scrubbing tires. He reported that there were no issues with his engine. Chilton landed 22nd on the grid with a speed of 211.746 mph.
Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.
More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.
Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.
He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.
“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.
“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”
Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”