Alex Palou caps off an exciting day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the top speed in the practice session after he qualified sixth for the Indianapolis 500. Sitting atop yet another session this May, Chip Ganassi Racing prove once again that they are the team to beat with all four cars inside the top five in the session. As teams prepare for “The Great American Race”, this session was filled with exciting pack racing and practice for green flag pit stops.
Thirty minutes into the session Team Penske‘s struggles continued as a caution was put out for Simon Pagenaud blew an engine on the frontstretch. He will not lose his qualifying spot for changing an engine, but he did lose an hour and a half of valuable practice time. Pagenaud said that he still believes that he “has a hot rod” despite this unfortunate issue.
Marcus Ericsson went second fastest on the day, while Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon finished fourth and fifth quickest respectively. Slowly but surely since the beginning of the week, Ganassi cars have consistently worked their way to the top of the time sheets and put down fast laps when it counted most in qualifying. This team has so much pace, and it would not be surprising to see one of their faces on the Borg Warner trophy next.
The man that split all the CGR machines was Conor Daly of Ed Carpenter Racing, who finished third fastest and finishes in the top five yet again in a practice session. With his teammates Rinus Veekay and Ed Carpenter inside the fast nine in qualifying, ECR might be another team to watch for an upset win come next Sunday.
The defending Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato finished the session in sixth with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal right behind him in seventh place. After both finished on the podium last year, they have their work cut out for them this year as they start in the middle of the pack in fifteenth and eighteenth respectively.
Stefan Wilson of Andretti Autosport was the best of the Indy 500-only entrants in this session, finishing eighth fastest. He was joined by fellow Indy-only Andretti driver Marco Andretti, who finished the session in tenth place.
Splitting the Andretti cars much like Daly did Ganassi was Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren SP, who finished the session ninth fastest. His teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Patricio O’Ward finished the session sixteenth and twenty-fourth respectively.
Teams will now get a well earned break, and are scheduled to return to the track next Friday, 28 May, for the final practice session of the month. “Carb Day”, as it’s known, will take place at 1100 EST / 1600 BST.
2021 Indianapolis 500 Practice 8 Official Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||NAT||TEAM||SPEED (MPH)|
|1||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.649|
|2||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.632|
|3||47||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||225.453|
|4||48||Tony Kanaan||BRA||Chip Ganassi Racing||225.431|
|5||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||224.802|
|6||30||Takuma Sato||JPN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||224.430|
|7||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||224.376|
|8||25||Stefan Wilson||GBR||Andretti Autosport||224.209|
|9||7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Arrow McLaren SP||224.085|
|10||98||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Herta-Haupert w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian||223.843|
|11||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||223.565|
|12||1||JR Hildebrand||USA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||223.531|
|13||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||223.455|
|14||14||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||223.446|
|15||3||Scott McLaughlin (R)||NZL||Team Penske||223.212|
|16||86||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Arrow McLaren SP||223.099|
|17||45||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||223.055|
|18||24||Sage Karam||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||222.953|
|19||29||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||222.754|
|20||18||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan||222.670|
|21||4||Dalton Kellett||CAN||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||222.569|
|22||60||Jack Harvey||GBR||Meyer Shank Racing||222.487|
|23||21||Rinus VeeKay||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||222.444|
|24||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||222.336|
|25||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||222.277|
|26||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||222.138|
|28||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||221.683|
|29||26||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Autosport||221.410|
|30||6||Helio Castroneves||BRA||Meyer Shank Racing||221.348|
|31||51||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRA||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing||221.250|
|32||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||221.201|
|33||16||Simona De Silvestro||SUI||Paretta Autosport||220.604|