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Wickens, Bourdais Head Honda Attack in Practice at Road America

  • Robert Wickens runs second fastest in afternoon practice, Sebastien Bourdais third
  • Takuma Sato posts second-quickest time in morning session
  • All five Honda teams represented in top eight overall results on Friday

Honda drivers Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais led the way for Honda Friday at Road America, ending the opening day of practice in second and third places, respectively, in preparation for Sunday's Kohler Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series race.

Wickens took his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda to a best time of 1:42.9025 around the classic 4-mile road course in central Wisconsin, to finish the day second overall behind Team Penske's Josef Newgarden.  St. Petersburg race winner Bourdais slotted in just behind, third, at 1:43.0020 for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.

All five Honda-powered teams had at least one representative in the top nine overall results on Friday, with Graham Rahal running sixth fastest in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda.  Rahal's teammate, Takuma Sato, ran second fastest in the morning practice before ending the day eighth overall.  Scott Dixon, the defending Road America winner and already a two-time IndyCar Series victor in 2018, ended Friday in seventh.  Detroit race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay took his Honda to ninth for Andretti Autosport; while teammate and Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Activities continue Saturday at Road America with final practice and qualifying for Sunday's 55-lap, 220-mile race. The 10th round of the 2018 season begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) 2nd fastest on Friday: "I think it was a pretty decent Friday. The Lucas Oil car feels good and we're making good progress. We were top five in both sessions, but it's only Friday, so we still have to work hard and keep our heads down. Initial signs are pretty positive for, hopefully, a good weekend."

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) 3rd fastest in opening-day practice: "Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the day. Our guys did a good job. The Firestone [soft compound] red [sidewall] tires are definitely giving a huge amount of grip in comparison to the [black sidewall primary tires]. But for us, it really wasn't much of a balance change, so that was nice. We could definitely get a pretty decent run. Consistency was quite good, as well, so we're looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Verizon IndyCar Series Kohler Grand Prix Circuit: Road America (4.0-mile road course) Elkhart Lake, Wis. 2016 Winner: Scott Dixon [Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 123.431 mph average Weather: Partly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F

Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps.

Driver      

Team

Manufacturer

Best Time

Notes

  1.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:42.6279

140.804 mph

  2.

Robert Wickens-R

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

1:42.9025

  3.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan      

Honda

1:43.0020

  4.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:43.0545

 

  5.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:43.1599

 

  6.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:43.1995

  7.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

1:43.4212

  8.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:43.4729

  9.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:43.4755

 

10.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:43.5603

Other Honda Results

11.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:43.6599

13.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Honda

1:43.6899

14.

Zach Veach-R

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:43.9088

15.

Zachary Claman De Melo-R

Dale Coyne Racing                

Honda

1:43.9204

18.

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing             

Honda

1:44.1869

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