Indy 500: Carpenter leads Castroneves in opening practice

Three-time Indy 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter topped the first official practice for the 103rd running of the event, heading Team Penske’s three-time race winner, Helio Castroneves.

The session was for all veterans, rookies and refreshers who took part in the April 24 test, ahead of the final batch of rookie and refreshers who have just taken to the track now.

Carpenter in his Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet clocked a 228.653mph lap of the 2.5-mile Speedway in the course of his 47 laps, edging Castroneves on 228.441.

Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s rookie Colton Herta, who won the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race here last year, was fastest Honda ahead of Sebastien Bourdais in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan-Honda.

Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones ensured three Ed Carpenter Racing cars in the top eight, split by 2017 Indy winner Takuma Sato in the fastest of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entries.

Scott Dixon, 2008 winner, was ninth in the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda ahead of the fastest Andretti Autosport car, that of Marco Andretti whose machine pays homage to his grandfather Mario’s STP-sponsored 1969 winner in dayglo orange.

James Hinchcliffe, the 2016 polesitter, drove all four Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entries – his own and those of Marcus Ericsson, Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing) and Oriol Servia (Team Stange Racing) – and set his best speed in Ericsson’s car.

Of the Indy-only teams, 2011 runner-up JR Hildebrand was fastest in the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevrolet in 13th.

Fernando Alonso turned 49 laps in the McLaren-Chevrolet, easily finished off his Refresher course and set a 224mph lap.

Session results:

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