Ericsson takes Indy GP’s top spot amid start time change | Auto Racing

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson posted the fastest lap in the IndyCar Grand Prix’s final practice session Saturday, completing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course in 1 minute, 11.0839 seconds.

Saturday’s race for the qualified 18th, which will start about 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. The race organizers moved to the start time because of the late afternoon rain.

Ericsson eclipsed rookie Callum Illot late in the session, what was broken was Friday’s qualifying in Chevrolet’s dominant performance. Six of the top seven spots, including pole winner Will Power, use Chevy’s. The English-born Illot went 1: 11.1979 in Juncos Hollinger Racing for his Chevy-powered car.

But Ericsson drove his Honda to the top of the speed chart with team owner Chip Ganassi. Honda took four of the top six spots in a warm, humid day in Indianapolis. None of the 27 drivers on the starting grid used red tires and many worried that rain, tire wear would be a key factor in the race.

Power was ninth in practice, less than 24 hours after winning his 64th career pole and moving within three matching Mario Andretti’s IndyCar record. This is the sixth time Power will start from Indy’s road course on the 1 spot, and the previous five times he won. The Australian also has a record fourth Indy GP crown – his first since 2018 – for the series powerhouse Team Penske.

Defending series champion and current points leader Alex Palou was eighth Saturday. Ganassi for the race and drives in The Spaniard will start second.

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