Belle Isle, MI – After a rare schedule for the Month of May at Indy, it was another hectic out of the norm schedule this weekend on the streets of Belle Isle. This weekend, the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers will run two races, a doubleheader Saturday with a 70 Lap race tomorrow, and another 70 Lap event run on Sunday.
That’s why they had just two practice sessions all weekend, totaling 90 minutes of on track activity to prepare for qualifying and two races.
In the first session, Graham Rahal led the way with a lap around the 2.35-mile Belle Isle street circuit of 1:15.3328-seconds in his No. 15 Honda.
Three Penske drivers would make up three spots in the top five in session one, with points leader Helio Castroneves being second fastest overall with a time of 1:15.4890-seconds in his No. 3 Chevrolet. His teammates, Josef Newgarden (1:15.5384-seconds) and Will Power (1:15.8159-seconds) were third and fifth respectively.
Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five with a time of 1;15.7216-seconds in his No. 98 Honda.
335 laps were turned in session No. 1, with just one stoppage for Scott Dixon spinning his No. 9 Honda entering Turn 13. He luckily didn’t hit anything and was able to continue on. Last week’s pole sitter and the one involved in a frightening crash was seventh fastest on the speed charts.
In final practice, this time Castroneves turned the top lap with a time of 1:15.1511-seconds in his No. 3 Chevrolet. Castroneves, a former Belle Isle winner, is a good favorite this weekend now with being second and first respectively.
The leaders were flip flopped, as Rahal was P2 with a lap of 1:15.3919-seconds. Those two are the ones to beat right now.
Rossi, improved to third fastest after being P5 in session No. 1 (1:15.4323-seconds), but he crashed on just his third lap backing into the outside concrete wall. Luckily, there wasn’t a ton of rear end damage and he was able to walk away unscathed.
Simon Pagenaud (1:15.4577-seconds) and Mikhail Aleshin (1:15.5382-seconds) rounded out the top five.
There were 297 laps in the final session, making a total of 632 circuits turned around Belle Isle on Friday.
Next up is qualifying for Race No. 1 tomorrow morning at 10:05 am ET.