INDIANAPOLIS – It’s officially the Month of May in Indianapolis, as the Verizon IndyCar Series held two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon from the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. But, for one driver, the two sessions couldn’t have gone any more polar opposite.
A mechanical issue kept James Hinchcliffe from completing any laps in the opening of the two sessions on Thursday morning, as 24 different drivers completed 546 laps in the 75 minute long session. Hinchcliffe unfortunately, wasn’t one of those 24 drivers.
That had him a bit worried, as with the day moving forward, rain was building west of the track and threatened to make it’s arrival during the second session of the afternoon. With the rest of the weekend supposed to be dry, it wouldn’t give Hinchcliffe any real data to prepare for.
But, he’d luck out, as the rain would actually hold off allowing Hinchcliffe to turn 26 laps in the second session as he’d turn a top lap of 1:10.0815-seconds in his No. 5 Arrow Honda. That lap would be the eighth fastest among the 24 to take a time in the second 75-minute session as it gives Hinchcliffe a ton of promise heading into qualifying on Friday afternoon and the race on Saturday.
Hinchcliffe, finished 20th in the inaugural Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014 but improved eight positions to come home 12th in this very race a year ago.
He wouldn’t know it then, but last year’s 82 Lap race was Hinchcliffe’s last race at IMS as he’d suffer a severe injury in a practice crash on May 18 of last year. He’d miss the remainder of the season but was able to make a comeback for the start of this season.
Hinchcliffe has two straight top 10 finishes entering this weekend and with having a strong showing on Thursday, he’s got a good shot to run up front when it counts on Saturday.