On Saturday morning, the cars and stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series took part in the final practice session of the race weekend, with Takuma Sato setting a new track record.
Sato, who has been strong all weekend, ended Saturday morning’s session on top of the timesheets with a record lap time of 68.6777 seconds.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver, who currently sits 12th in the championship standings, surpassed Simon Pagenaud’s previous record of 58.9124, which was set last year in qualifying.
Saturday’s practice session was the most eventful of the weekend, with a number of drivers having close calls with the barriers on track.
The session’s only red flag came when Robert Wickens put his #6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda into the tyres at Turn 8. Seconds later Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden locked up in the same turn, also hitting the tyres.
Before the red flag came out, which effectively ended the session, Newgarden was second quickest with a time of 55.7750. Meanwhile, Wickens had his fastest lap of the weekend with a time of 59.0128, good enough for seventh on the timing charts.
Hometown driver James Hinchcliffe put in a lap time of 59.3569 seconds in his #5 Arrow Honda, which put the Canadian in 14th place.
Sato and Newgarden will be looking to capitalise on their strong lap times thus far when the series qualifies later this afternoon. Meanwhile Robert Wickens and James Hinchcliffe will be looking to get all they can out of their cars for a chance at pole in front of the home crowd.