What a difference there was between practice session 1 & practice session 2.
Chip Ganassi Racing driver Alex Palou in his No.10 Honda used every inch of the racing surface he could to post the fastest lap of the hour-long practice session with a time of 1:09.9383.
The top spot of practice session 2 jockeyed between a handful of drivers before Palou took firm control of the top spot with just 3 and half minutes left in the session.
Palou said after practice 2, “It’s always fun when you’re fast, the car was great this morning, and it’s a little bit more comfortable now in practice 2. Hopefully we can keep up the same pace in qualifying. At the end of the day, it’s great to be P1 in practice, but it’s qualifying that matters.”
Palou was followed for the second straight session by Rahal Letterman Langian Racing’s Christian Lundgaard in the No. 45 (1:10.2580), practice session 2 leader & Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward in his No. 5 Chevrolet (1:10.2604), and the highest rookie in practice session 2, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Marcus Armstrong in his No. 11 Honda with a lap of 1:10.3022, putting him at P4. Rounding out the top 5 was Lundgaard’s team mate Jack Harvey in his No. 30 Honda (1:10.3038).
After following up his strong run during practice 1, Lundgaard said of practice 2, “The car is fast; it’s as simple as that, we do have a bit of a concern with braking issues, which we’re trying to figure out. But the car is fast, and we’ve been up there both sessions now. So, I’m quite confident for quali.”
During the practice session, a few drivers and crews had one issue or another ,starting with Andretti Autosport driver Kyle Kirkwood in the No. 27, who had clutch problems with his car that limited him to just 14 laps. For the second practice session in a row, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon had issues with his car, but his crew worked quickly to resolve the issue and Dixon was able to complete 21 laps with the quickest lap being 01:10.4018, which put him P9.
The most troubling issue from practice session 2 came from Meyer Shank Racing driver and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in his No. 06 Honda when smoke bellowed from the headers of his engine.
Engine issues for @h3lio in practice 2. #INDYCAR // #INDYGP pic.twitter.com/jq5R59HPzN
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) May 12, 2023
In just a few hours, it is time to qualify for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix.
Up Next: Qualifying – 4:00 p.m EST on Peacock