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Indy 500 testing begins

Preparations for one of the world’s most prestigious races, the Indy 500 has begun and former Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Scott McLaughlin was one of the drivers to set the pace.

Veteran Kiwi Scott Dixon set the outright pace in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda with an average speed of 227.187mph as McLaughlin set the fastest speed for a non-tow at 219.841mph and was the lead Team Penske Chevrolet.

Aussie Will Power spun during the session, but failed to hit the wall and in doing so it sent Colton Herta into the outside concrete, which ended the session prematurely.

Dixon set his lap on his ninth lap during the third and final session of the day as Conor Daly led the Chevrolet charge in his Ed Carpenter Racing entry from Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott and Santino Ferrucci for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

Helio Castroneves was another like Power to encounter troubles as he hit the outside wall driving the same chassis he took out last year’s event in.

Five rookies completed the traditional testing program where drivers must complete 10 straight laps between 205 and 210mph. The second phase consists of 15 consecutive laps between 210 and 215mph, while the final section requires an additional 15 circuits at more than 215mph.

Ilott, Andretti Autosport’s Devlin DeFrancesco, David Malukas in the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR entry, AJ Foyt Racing driver Kyle Kirkwood and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda’s Christian Lundgaard all successfully completed the program.

Fellow rookies Jimmie Johnson and Romain Grosjean passed their rookie tests at a previous test.

Refresher programs were required to be undertaken by Juan Pablo Montoya, Sage Karam and Marco Andretti, but all passed.

Testing continues at midnight tonight on the at 2am NZ time.