• Hunter-Reay, Pagenaud end Friday 1-2 overall
• Aleshin leads rookies with fourth-fastest time
• Acura TLX GT makes Pirelli World Challenge debut
Honda-powered Ryan Hunter-Reay, pole qualifier in 2013, led the way Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during opening Verizon IndyCar Series practice for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200. The 2012 series champion led a Honda 1-2 in practice, with Simon Pagenaud second quickest and his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate, Mikhail Aleshin, fourth and quickest rookie in the field.
Friday also featured the debut of the new Acura TLX GT race car in Pirelli World Challenge competition, with RealTime Racing’s Peter Cunningham makinghis initial development outing in the all-wheel-drive, twin-turbocharged V6 Acura.
Activities continue Saturday at Mid-Ohio with final practice and qualifying for this weekend’s Honda Indy 200. Television coverage of the 15th round of the 2014 season start at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday on the NBC Sports Network.
Ryan Hunter-Reay(#28 Andretti Autosport Honda) quickest in Friday practice: “It was a good start to the day—we were quickest in themorning.Because of thestoppagesin the second session, we never gotmoving the way we wanted to.I think the cars are good, but we do need to work at it overnightand go for pole tomorrow. Coming down to the final races,with a championship on the line, we need to win. It’s amazing to think that we’ve won three races and Helio (Castroneves) has won one, but he’s that far ahead in points. But that’s the way the points system is right now. We need to win races. But it’s doable still and we’ll keep at it.”