Will Power was off to a strong start Friday in his bid for a fourth victory at the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Power turned a lap of 1 minute, 9.9487 seconds (125.526 mph) in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet to lead the lone practice session for Saturday’s race (noon ET, NBC).
“It’s hot, man,” the Team Penske driver, who won the Indy GP from the pole in 2015, ’17 and ’18, told Marty Snider on the NBC Sports Gold broadcast. “It’s going to be a tough race in that respect. The cooling’s not bad. You’re feeling it out there. Started the session pretty far off, honestly, and I was able to get the car right in the window. Some good things to think about before qualifying here, and I hopefully have a shot at the pole.”
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Qualifying will happen at 4:30 p.m. ET today (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold).
Santino Ferrucci was second (1 minute, 10.1242 seconds) in the practice session, followed by Marcus Ericsson, Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Felix Rosenqvist, Spencer Pigot and Oliver Askew.
“Our car is really well connected,” Ferrucci told Dave Burns on the NBC Sports Gold broadcast. “Proud of our team and really looking forward to qualifying later today.”
Said Ericsson via Chip Ganassi Racing PR: “It was a good practice session. I think again, like in Texas, all three of us at Chip Ganassi Racing had really strong cars. I was feeling comfortable straight away on the blacks out there. We did some tweaking and some smaller stuff on the setup.
“I think we found some small bits and pieces and then on the reds we felt strong again and competitive. I had a good feeling in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda car. Overall, it was a very positive session. I think we are looking good for this afternoon and for tomorrow for the GMR Grand Prix.”
There was one notable incident during the session as Hunter-Reay and Ferrucci made contact in Turn 7 when Ferrucci moved underneath Hunter-Reay’s Dallara-Honda, which just had pulled on track.
Neither car sustained significant damage. Ferrucci was given a 5-minute penalty for avoidable contact, but Hunter-Reay seemed to take responsibility for the crash, radioing his team that he hadn’t seen Ferrucci in his mirrors.
“There’s a rule in IndyCar you can’t impede someone on a hot lap,” Ferrucci told Burns. “I was six tenths down, and you can see him coming down the straight; he’s clearly on an out lap and warming his tires. Normally you check your mirrors. I thought he was going to wide in the corner, and when he didn’t, I tried to stop as fast as I could, I just ended up clipping him.
“I’d say that’s a warning because it’s practice. Because you lose your lap in qualifying because of that.”
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Sage Karam also received a 5-minute penalty for stopping on course in Turn 12.