Cars hit the 2.5-mile oval today for the first time this month, with a familiar team establishing their place at the top of the speed chart. Chip Ganassi Racing began the first day of Indianapolis 500 practice the same way they ended last year. Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato turned the fastest lap of the day at 229.439 mph in the No. 11 Honda. His teammate, 2008 winner Scott Dixon held the top spot for most of the afternoon and still finished second-fastest.
“The organization is very impressive,” Sato said. “Everything is in the right place and we have the right people. They use their resources and make the most of it. Preparation is simply impressive. Today, all four drivers divided a few different programs. I wasn’t particularly happy with the kind of sensation I was getting in the morning. We’re just working on what’s the best way. In the afternoon, the group was a great hint for me about what needs to be done. We went for it, and we had a big tow, and that’s why we have a very successful platform right now.”
Santino Ferrucci put AJ Foyt Racing near the top of the pylon, thanks to a nice tow in Happy Hour of practice. Alex Palou and Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top-five in the overall speeds. With less than an hour remaining, all four Ganassi cars were at the top of the chart. Sato, Dixon, and Palou were joined by Marcus Ericsson, the defending race winner. It is early, but clearly the Ganassi team looks to be the favorite to win again this year.
There were 3,455 total laps turned today by the 34 drivers. Fortunately, there were no incidents during the six-hour practice, with Graham Rahal getting a brief scare early in the session after tapping the wall. He was able to continue and teams had plenty of time to begin working on their car setups.
The first order of business today was getting RC Enerson through his Rookie Orientation Program. The Abel Motorsports driver officially passed all three phases of the program and was able to join the rest of the field for practice. Enerson is just one of four rookies that will be trying to make their first career Indy 500 start later this month. Practice resumes with another Noon – 6 PM session tomorrow.
|2023 Indianapolis 500 – Wednesday Practice Results|
|1||Takuma Sato||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|2||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|3||Santino Ferrucci||AJ Foyt Racing||Chevrolet|
|4||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|5||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|6||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
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