Scott Dixon led both sessions involving veterans at the open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. Dixon ran a lap of 227,187 in the afternoon session, which saw just 30 minutes of green flag time and ended 30 minutes early after two crashes exiting pit lane.
Conor Daly had the second fastest time, 226,985 mph.
Four time and defending race winner Helio Castroneves spun on the pit exit lane and hit the outside wall in turn 2. Castroneves was unhurt. He could not explain what happened.
“I didn’t feel anything strange, anything bottoming, I wasn’t pushing,” Castroneves said. “And the rear just spun out. I was trying to control it, making sure I didn’t crash, and it was a very odd situation. Unfortunately, we couldn’t avoid that. It was very unusual.”
Action resumed, and 21 minutes later, Will Power spun in the pit exit lane in turn 1. Colton Herta went wide to avoid Power, spun and brushed the outside wall, then slid down the track, narrowly missing a collision with Marcus Ericsson, who chose to go low to avoid Herta’s spinning car. Herta’s car came to rest nose first against the inside wall in turn 1.
Officials ddeclared the session over to have time to examine the pit lane. Alexander Rossi had spun in the lane as cars left the pits for the morning session.
Indycar, IMS, and Firestone were working together to find out what the issue with the pit lane is. There will be an update in the morning.
In the rookie/refresher session the five rookies passed all three phases of the rookie test. Callum Ilott had the fastest lap, 222,184 mph.
Ilott talked about his day and learning ovals.
“It’s a real challenge, especially when it’s quite windy, trying to get the positioning in the field at that speed. And then, you know, when we come on after the rookie orientation, and you’re an adult with 33 cars on track, it’s, yeah, it’s a bit tough to find the space and, you know, you start to learn the technicalities of oval racing, which was something I had to learn quite quickly in Texas. But yeah, it’s awesome. The place is ginormous.”
Practice is scheduled to run from 10 AM Eastern time to 4 PM. All 32 cars are eligible to participate. We will wait for word on the pit lane issue. Work on that part of the track may delay the start, but Indycar will probably allow all six hours of running if possible. Tomorrow’s practice will be streamed on Peacock.