Watkins Glen IndyCar: Graham Rahal leads Friday morning practice – IndyCar

Graham Rahal led a Honda 1-2-3-4-5 in opening practice for the penultimate IndyCar Series round at Watkins Glen.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver posted a 1m23.2626s lap to go to the top of the timesheets with seconds to go, displacing Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi by just over two tenths of a second.

Rossi, whose contract extension with Andretti was announced at the start of the day, led the way for much of a 45-minute session initially delayed for 10 minutes due to clean-up from incidents in a support series session.

He even having a quick off at the Bus Stop that left his car undamaged.

Chip Ganassi team-mates Max Chilton and Scott Dixon finished third and fourth, with Dixon looking to keep his championship hopes alive at a track he has won on four times previously.

James Hinchcliffe jumped into the top five in the last few minutes, just ahead of Spencer Pigot. Seventh was Ryan Hunter-Reay despite a spin on the exit of the Turn 8 right-hander.

Championship leader Josef Newgarden languished down in eighth place, followed by his Penske team-mates Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves.

Series returnee Jack Harvey, replacing Sebastian Saavedra at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the penultimate two rounds, was 20th quickest.

Charlie Kimball rounded off the 21 runners after suffering a mechanical issue with his Ganassi machine that left him with just 65% throttle. He completed only two laps.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m23.2603s 19
2 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m23.4686s 0.2083s 14
3 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m23.5154s 0.2551s 18
4 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m23.5485s 0.2882s 15
5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m23.7734s 0.5131s 12
6 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m23.8425s 0.5822s 16
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m23.8439s 0.5836s 14
8 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m23.8742s 0.6139s 16
9 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m23.8748s 0.6145s 14
10 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m23.9941s 0.7338s 14
11 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m23.9984s 0.7381s 15
12 Carlos Munoz AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m24.0889s 0.8286s 15
13 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m24.2050s 0.9447s 15
14 Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m24.4073s 1.1470s 15
15 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m24.5239s 1.2636s 14
16 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m24.5499s 1.2896s 15
17 Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m24.6339s 1.3736s 13
18 J.R. Hildebrand Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m25.1698s 1.9095s 17
19 Conor Daly AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m25.2532s 1.9929s 15
20 Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m25.5645s 2.3042s 20
21 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 6m44.2572s 5m20.9969s 2

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