INDIANAPOLIS — The NTT INDYCAR Series held a pair of 45-minute practice sessions before qualifying later on in the day to set the field for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET, NBC, INDYCAR Radio Network). In the opening session, rookie Callum Ilott picked up where he left off at the Barber Motorsports Park the last time out.
Ilott, was in the top 10 in all three practice sessions on the scenic Alabama facility including quickest in final practice that Saturday. He was now 2nd quickest in the initial session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on a warm Friday morning. The Juncos Hollinger Racing driver went 1:10.4593-seconds in his No. 77 Dallara-Chevrolet at the end of the session which ended up P1 until points leader Alex Palou (1:10.4555-seconds) topped him on the final lap of practice with fresh Firestone rubber.
5-time pole winner here Will Power was third in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet. The Aussie circled the 2.439-mile race track at 1:10.5277-seconds.
Graham Rahal (1:10.6125-seconds) was fourth in his No. 15 Dallara-Honda while Felix Rosenqvist (1:10.7108-seconds) rounded out the top five.
Defending race winner Rinus VeeKay (1:11.0720-seconds) was 21st.
We saw 5 different teams represented in the top 5 in the session with Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing taking 3rd (Rahal), 8th (Jack Harvey) and 14th (Christian Lundgaard). Meyer Shank Racing had both of their cars in the top 9 too with Simon Pagenaud (7th) and Helio Castroneves (9th).
Castroneves, brought out the lone red flag of the session when he stopped off course at pit entry at 10:13 a.m. ET.
We’d go green with 1-minute and 38-seconds left for one more timed lap in which Palou jumped to the top of the board and his teammate Marcus Ericsson improved up to 6th.