Friday, August 1, 2014

Honda Dominates First Practice, Led by Hunter-Reay

In the first practice session for the Honda 200, the Japanese manufacture controlled the session, at one point having eight of the top ten before finishing with six Hondas in the top ten. Ryan Hunter-Reay ran the fastest lap, a 66.5316 and completed ten laps in the morning session. He was 0.1415 seconds faster than fellow Honda driver Simon Pagenaud in second. The Frenchman completed a session-low six laps. Four-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon was third, only 0.0409 seconds behind Pagenaud with Pagenaud's Schmidt Peterson teammate Mikhail Aleshin fourth, 0.0140 second off the Kiwi.

Sébastien Bourdais rounded out the top five in first practice followed by Andretti Autosport drivers James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti. Andretti was only 0.0006 seconds back of his Canadian teammate. Bourdais completed more laps in the session than Hinchcliffe and Andretti combined. The Frenchman ran twenty laps while the Canadian and America did nine and eight respectively. Juan Pablo Montoya jumped into the top ten on his final lap of the session and ended eighth. Ryan Briscoe was the top Chevrolet for most of first practice before ending ninth. Carlos Huertas rounded out the top ten, 0.3661 seconds back of fellow Honda driver Hunter-Reay.

Graham Rahal was eleventh in his first practice in his home state. Rahal completed 23 laps, more than anyone else in first practice. Takuma Sato was twelfth with Will Power in thirteenth. Josef Newgarden was fourteenth, 0.4960 seconds back of Hunter-Reay. Justin Wilson made it ten Hondas in the top fifteen.

Carlos Muñoz was sixteenth ahead of the defending Mid-Ohio winner Charlie Kimball in seventeenth. Hélio Castroneves was eighteenth followed by fellow South American drivers Sebastián Saavedra and Tony Kanaan in twentieth. Like Pagenaud, Kanaan completed only six laps in first practice. British drivers Mike Conway and Jack Hawksworth rounded out the field. The top twenty were within 0.8652 seconds of Hunter-Reay's fastest time while the field was covered by 1.4813 seconds.

Second practice will take place at 2:00 p.m. ET.