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Indy 500: Sato fastest for Dale Coyne on opening day of practice

Japanese veteran Sato ran only four laps in the morning’s two hour session, unhappy with the aero balance of his car, but shone in the afternoon to top the timesheets at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2017 and 2020 Indy winner got a strong tow from several cars on his 63rd of 64 laps and lapped the 2.5-mile oval in 39.311s at an average speed of 228.939mph.

Despite his best effort receiving tow assists, Sato made up most of his speed on the opposition in the turns as his trap speeds were between fourth and fifth quickest.

Opening practice pacesetter Scott Dixon was second fastest on a very promising day for Chip Ganassi Racing, in which all five Honda-powered entries finished in the top nine.

NASCAR legend and IndyCar rookie Jimmie Johnson clocked the third fastest time ahead of Marcus Ericsson in fourth, while reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou was sixth and 2013 Indy winner Tony Kanaan ninth.

Four of the Ganassi cars lay between third and eighth on the no-tow charts.

The top two no-tow speeds came from Ed Carpenter Racing entries of fifth-placed Rinus VeeKay and his three-time Indy pole-winning team owner Ed Carpenter, who was only 29th overall.

Behind Sato's rookie team-mate David Malukas in seventh, Josef Newgarden was quickest of the Team Penske entries in eighth, while the fastest Andretti Autosport driver was 2020 polesitter Marco Andretti in his first IndyCar outing since last year's event. The 2006 runner-up completed the top 10, just shading team-mate Devlin deFrancesco.

Marco Andretti was on good form, the 2020 pole-winner the fastest of the Andretti entries (Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images)

In the Indy 500-only Dreyer & Reinbold Motorsport squad, Sage Karam was an excellent third in the morning session behind Dixon and Ericsson, while Santino Ferrucci clocked in the sixth-fastest time (and second-fastest of the no-tow efforts). But the pair had slipped to 23rd and 33rd by the afternoon.

Meanwhile, DragonSpeed with Cusick Motorsports driver Stefan Wilson completed his refresher course at IMS and went on to manage a best average speed of 222.232mph in the 10 laps he completed in FP2.

Wilson's Chevrolet-powered car, which is on loan from AJ Foyt Racing after being raced by Tatiana Calderon in last weekend's Grand Prix of Indianapolis, appeared well-prepared following its conversion from road course to superspeedway spec.

The 33rd and last entry to be announced is largely staffed by DragonSpeed’s IMSA SportsCar Championship LMP2 team, while various equipment has been lent to the team by Andretti Autosport, Juncos Hollinger Racing, and Team Penske.

IndyCar Indianapolis 500 FP2 results

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 64 39.311   228.939
2 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 50 39.513 0.202 227.768
3 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 79 39.521 0.210 227.722
4 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 73 39.631 0.319 227.094
5 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 76 39.648 0.336 226.995
6 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 68 39.652 0.340 226.973
7 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 80 39.744 0.432 226.448
8 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 76 39.758 0.446 226.368
9 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States Chip Ganassi Racing 47 39.771 0.459 226.292
10 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 85 39.808 0.496 226.085
11 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 82 39.836 0.524 225.925
12 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 95 39.841 0.529 225.897
13 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 97 39.852 0.540 225.836
14 United States J.R. Hildebrand United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 79 39.856 0.544 225.813
15 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 77 39.865 0.553 225.759
16 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 73 39.923 0.611 225.432
17 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 72 39.991 0.679 225.047
18 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 98 40.012 0.701 224.928
19 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 56 40.013 0.701 224.925
20 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 91 40.015 0.703 224.912
21 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 49 40.052 0.740 224.705
22 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 83 40.056 0.744 224.682
23 United States Sage Karam United States Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 37 40.059 0.747 224.666
24 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 76 40.096 0.784 224.457
25 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 74 40.123 0.811 224.309
26 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 75 40.125 0.814 224.294
27 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 71 40.139 0.828 224.216
28 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 53 40.152 0.840 224.148
29 United States Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing 58 40.158 0.846 224.113
30 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United States Arrow McLaren SP 37 40.191 0.879 223.929
31 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 83 40.370 1.058 222.935
32 United Kingdom Stefan Wilson DragonSpeed / Cusick Motorsports 10 40.498 1.186 222.232
33 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 20 40.652 1.341 221.386

IndyCar Indianapolis 500 FP1 results

 
Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph
1 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 25 39.626   227.119
2 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 31 39.653 0.026 226.965
3 United States Sage Karam United States Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 52 39.753 0.126 226.398
4 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 44 39.883 0.257 225.655
5 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco & Curb-Agajani 24 39.928 0.301 225.403
6 United States Santino Ferrucci United States Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 50 39.935 0.308 225.362
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 41 39.941 0.314 225.330
8 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 26 39.950 0.323 225.278
9 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 34 40.014 0.387 224.920
10 United States J.R. Hildebrand United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 23 40.081 0.454 224.544
11 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 54 40.092 0.465 224.484
12 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 35 40.103 0.476 224.419
13 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 52 40.103 0.477 224.417
14 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 39 40.110 0.483 224.381
15 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 32 40.212 0.585 223.811
16 Brazil Tony Kanaan United States Chip Ganassi Racing 22 40.220 0.593 223.768
17 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 38 40.223 0.596 223.750
18 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United States Arrow McLaren SP 19 40.245 0.618 223.630
19 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 32 40.288 0.661 223.389
20 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 44 40.311 0.685 223.260
21 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 29 40.357 0.730 223.007
22 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 16 40.396 0.770 222.789
23 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 41 40.437 0.810 222.565
24 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 25 40.439 0.812 222.554
25 United States Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing 28 40.520 0.893 222.113
26 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 22 40.583 0.956 221.766
27 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 15 40.596 0.969 221.695
28 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 21 40.602 0.975 221.662
29 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 15 40.724 1.098 220.996
30 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 33 40.825 1.199 220.448
31 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 21 41.069 1.442 219.143
32 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 4 42.424 2.797 212.142