INDIANAPOLIS – The countdown to the 105th Indianapolis 500 continues. Just 50 days left until the green flag drops on the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
IndyCar Series drivers completed two days of testing this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rain hindered the first day on Thursday, but sunny skies greeted the drivers Friday.
Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden recorded the fastest lap of the two-day test session, turning a speed of 226.819 miles per hour in his Team Penske Chevrolet on Friday.
“Pretty happy,” said Newgarden. “Car looked good. Had some decent speed, which is always nice to see, but doesn’t mean much when it comes to race day. We’ll see how we shake out as we get to the meat of things in the month of May.”
Newgarden had a couple of two-time 500 champions right behind him on the speed chart. Last year’s winner, Takuma Sato clocked a lap of 226.396 MPH and Juan Pablo Montoya 226.123.
“A lot to catch up again, learn, understand again what you need to do, the timing,” Montoya said. “But everything just starts coming back. It’s funny, getting up to speed yesterday was, ohhh. Today, you don’t even think about it.”
Sebastien Bourdais was the fastest on day one laying down a lap of 224.427 MPH. The A.J. Foyt driver was one of 11 drivers taking part in veteran refresher tests and the rookie orientation program.
32 drivers completed over four thousand laps during the two-day test on the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay only got four laps in before hitting the turn one wall Thursday. His No. 21 Chevrolet sustained heavy damage, ending his open test early.
“I wanted to do as many laps as possible to be successful,” said VeeKay. “I’m very sorry. It was a weird moment.”
The drivers now turn their attention to next weekend’s season opener at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. They’ll return to Indy for the Grand Prix on May 15 and the Indy 500 on May 30.