The Andretti Autosport domination of Indianapolis 500 practice continued on Tuesday as James Hinchcliffe topped practice with a lap time of 40.1410 at 224.210 mph.
But there is one caveat. He did it behind the wheel of teammate Marco Andretti's No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet after the two teams temporarily swapped drivers to gain a better understanding of where each car was heading.
Andretti cars have led each full day of practice dating back to Sunday but Hinchcliffe doesn't think it means a lot this early in the week. He explained that teams are still experimenting with setups and that lap times gained off a tow (the draft) slightly skewed the timesheets.
Still, he's impressed with how practice has gone thus far.
Hinchcliffe joked that Marco was going to be mad that he picked up the fastest time on account of the draft, noting that Andretti was famous for doing just that over the years, and even called his teammate ‘Marco Towdretti.'
He scored the 13th fastest time of the afternoon in his own car but said the time wasn't entirely indicative of where they were at. He's focused on the daily work that goes into making his car faster for qualifying and race day respectively.
"(The speed is) going to be up there," Hinchcliffe said. "But at the end of the day these numbers don't mean a lot right now. It's about the work you do on the race car and making sure that you are going to be good not over one lap, but over 200 in a couple of weeks."
Andretti himself scored the third fastest time in the same No. 25 car and has seemingly unloaded the fastest car at Indianapolis on an afternoon that might closely resemble race day temperatures at 86 degrees.
As a result, he's confident in the direction his team is headed.
"I think today went well," Andretti said. "I'm quite pleased with how things are going for us so far. Working with the car in the heat of the day can be challenging but we made a lot of progress to get where we are. We're going to continue to look at things and try to be faster by race day."
Overall, 34 car/driver combinations hit the track and recorded times during the six hour practice session. The complete times from Tuesday's practice session can be found below (duplicates represent T-cars - team backups):
- James Hinchcliffe (No. 25) 224.210 mph
- JR Hildebrand 223.652 mph
- Marco Andretti (No. 25) 223.570 mph
- Helio Castroneves 223.556 mph
- Ryan Hunter-Reay 223.332 mph
- EJ Viso 223.138 mph
- Josef Newgarden 223.123 mph
- Carlos Munoz 223.110 mph
- Oriol Servia 222.093 mph
- AJ Allmendinger 222.005 mph
- Marco Andretti (No. 27) 221.972 mph
- Townsend Bell 221.898 mph
- James Hinchcliffe (No. 27) 221.781 mph
- Will Power 221.654 mph
- Sebastian Saavedra 221.119 mph
- Sebastien Bourdais 221.088 mph
- Simona De Silvestro 220.963 mph
- Ed Carpenter 220.897 mph
- Charlie Kimball 220.722 mph
- Tony Kanaan 220.645 mph
- Simon Pagenaud 220.591 mph
- Dario Franchitti 220.502 mph
- Ryan Briscoe 220.100 mph
- Tristan Vautier 220.017 mph
- Scott Dixon 219.848 mph
- Conor Daly 219.688 mph
- Pippa Mann 219.588 mph
- Justin Wilson 219.423 mph
- James Jakes 219.191 mph
- Ana Beatriz 218.998 mph
- Alex Tagliani 218.213 mph
- Michel Jourdain Jr. 217.118 mph
- Graham Rahal 216.633 mph
- Takuma Sato 216.616 mph