Castroneves leads third Indy 500 practice day with Dixon 3rd

Autosport

Helio Castroneves topped the third day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 as speeds continue to creep up ahead of next weekend’s IndyCar race.

The Team Penske driver ran a two-assisted lap at 227.514mph inside the first hour of running, and that speed would remain unbeaten when the session ended.

However he also set the fastest unassisted speed of 225.314mph during happy hour, helped by what appeared to be some previously unseen pieces of the Chevrolet superspeedway aero kit.

“It was a good day,” said Castroneves, who is chasing his fourth victory at the 500.

“The car was super strong, super solid, felt comfortable. Now we’ve got to just keep working with this new aero kit.

“Today was basically the second day that we’ve been working constantly, but I like what I see.”

Castroneves’ Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud was second-fastest for the day ahead of Scott Dixon, with Andretti’s Justin Wilson slotting in behind the Kiwi as the fastest of the Honda drivers despite suffering an engine failure late in the day.

“I looked in the mirror and there was a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust so, yeah, it’s unfortunate,” he said.

“I don’t know any more than that right now. But, looking back over the day, I think we’ve had a pretty good day.

“The car’s been quick, and I think there’s more to come.

“There’s a few tweaks we can try for going faster and also dealing better in traffic.”

Wilson’s engine failure followed a similar problem for Schmidt’s James Jakes earlier in the day, while Simona de Silvestro’s running was cut short when a fuel leak caused her car to catch fire.

“It’s definitely unfortunate because the car is pretty burnt down, and it’s really frustrating that it seems like fire follows me,” said the Andretti driver.

“Until now, everything was working fine, and it’s just annoying because it’s a pretty big setback for us, but I have four great team-mates and that will make it easier for us to continue moving forward.”

It is the third time that de Silvestro has faced a fire in an IndyCar. She suffered burns to her hands when her car began to burn after a crash at Texas in 2010, and endured similar injuries when her car flipped and ignited during practice for the Indy 500 a year later.

Elsewhere, James Davison made a surprise appearance to join a growing list of drivers to have steered Dale Coyne Racing’s #19 entry this year, although it’s understood that the Australian is yet to secure a deal to race the car.

The 28-year-old made his Indy 500 debut last year, when he finished 16th with KV Racing.

INDIANPOLIS PRACTICE RESULTS

PosDriverTeamCarGapLaps
1Helio CastronevesTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet39.5580s72
2Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.0229s92
3Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.1300s61
4Justin WilsonAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.1442s89
5Townsend BellDreyer and ReinboldDallara/Chevrolet0.1737s69
6Will PowerTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.1958s86
7Tony KanaanChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.1960s37
8J.R. HildebrandCFH RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.1989s28
9Marco AndrettiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.2027s99
10Carlos MunozAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.2300s86
11Ed CarpenterCFH RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.2923s59
12Josef NewgardenCFH RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.3312s79
13Charlie KimballChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.3592s56
14Takuma SatoAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Honda0.3813s42
15Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda0.3939s69
16Gabby ChavesBryan Herta AutosportDallara/Honda0.4593s91
17Sage KaramChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.4709s47
18Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.4805s84
19Sebastien BourdaisKVSH RacingDallara/Chevrolet0.5250s84
20Juan Pablo MontoyaTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet0.5418s70
21Oriol ServiaRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda0.5885s82
22Pippa MannDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda0.6106s62
23Conor DalySchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda0.6346s57
24James HinchcliffeSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda0.6577s68
25James JakesSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda0.7524s62
26Marco AndrettiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.8226s4
27Stefano ColettiKV Racing TechnologyDallara/Chevrolet0.8907s48
28Jack HawksworthAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Honda0.9009s25
29Simona de SilvestroAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda0.9527s9
30Carlos HuertasDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda1.0419s45
31Sebastian SaavedraChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Chevrolet1.1542s31
32Bryan ClausonKVSH RacingDallara/Chevrolet1.5716s47
33James DavisonDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda2.3265s15
34Alex TaglianiAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Honda34.2415s3

Castroneves leads third Indy 500 practice day with Dixon 3rd

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