Sato Tops First Phoenix Session

Takuma Sato speeds at ISM Raceway
Takuma Sato was fastest in the first of four full-field practices at ISM Raceway. | Photo: Joe Skibinski / INDYCAR

Of the 23 Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that turned a combined 943 laps in the first full-field open test session of 2018, defending Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato was fastest overall.

Sato’s best revolution of the 1.022-mile oval came on his 43rd of 44 laps in the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, topping the speed chart at 187.022 mph. 

Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, who was fastest prior to Sato’s best lap, held on for second fastest in the No. 22 Chevrolet at 186.611 mph.

Tony Kanaan, debuting with new team AJ Foyt Racing in the No. 14 Chevrolet, turned only 21 laps and clocked in at 186.122 mph on his eighth trip around the short oval.

Matheus Leist flies through Turn 4 at ISM Raceway
Rookie Matheus Leist was fourth fastest in Friday afternoon’s session. | Photo: Chris Jones / INDYCAR

Kanaan’s rookie teammate Matheus Leist proved that Foyt’s speed was no fluke. Leist posted a 186.094 mph lap to end the day fourth fastest and led Sebastien Bourdais in completing the top five.

Scott Dixon, who tested INDYCAR’s new windscreen on Thursday, was eighth fastest in the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

The 23-car field was split by 1.5662 seconds, with Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton rounding out the results for Carlin.

Cars will be back on track at ISM Raceway for night testing beginning at 9 p.m. EST with live streaming on INDYCAR Race Control, YouTube, Facebook Live and the INDYCAR mobile app.

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