Early Speeds: Marco “practice warrior” Andretti was quickest in today’s first Indy 500 practice at over 226.3 mph, followed by Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Note the two 500 winners in the group. However, the all important non-tow speeds where cars run by themselves saw Ganassi’s Tony Kanaan and Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay both going over 223.5 mph with Scott Dixon topping 222 mph.
Fernando Flew: F-ing F1 driver Fernando Alonso flew in to Indy for practice after finishing twelfth at his home GP in Barcelona Sunday. He’d previously flown through rookie orientation May 5th in a private session. The Spaniard wasn’t exactly flying today at the track though, managing only nineteenth at just over 223 mph. Afterward he mentioned looking forward to “listen[ing]” to his teammates and that “the most difficult thing will be the race itself.” That, or all that flying.
Photo from lincolnshireecho.co.uk
Harvey Wallbanger: Rookie Englishman Jack Harvey suffered the only incident of the first day, hitting the turn 2 wall after coming off the warm up lane soon after leaving the pits. He checked out fine, and indicated that the lightly damaged car simply wouldn’t turn, pointing to a steering issue. He’d previously run a number of hot laps but hasn’t yet finished his orientation program for fledgling Michael Shank Racing.
Photo from twitter.com
Miscellaneous : Graham Rahal‘s Honda let go toward the end of the day, smoke billowing from the car. . . . Warmer temperatures at IMS today kept speeds down from those of previous years. . . . Rookie sensation Ed Jones of Dale Coyne Racing was the first to complete his rookie orientation. . . . A.J. Foyt Racing’s Conor Daly cheekily asked the IndyCar series on Twitter, “Are there any other cars in the Indy 500 this year? LOl” after one of their endless stream on Alonso.