Kyle Kirkwood topped a hugely disrupted first Practice session at Belle Isle with a 1:16.1345 for A. J. Foyt Enterprises ahead of Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi.
The session featured a flurry of incidents as Dalton Kellett suffered mechanical trouble early on and Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist crashed at Turn 1.
Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson performed very well on the bumpy streets in Detroit finishing fifth in first practice just behind Simon Pagenaud.
O’Ward was cautiously optimistic about his number five car as the track will grip up hugely before the race: “Yeah, I think we rolled off the truck really strong. We can't read too much into I think practice right now because really messy session, big difference from first run to second runs on tires.
“I think some people's true pace wasn't shown. I think it will be a lot better than that. Maybe I'm completely wrong.
“But, yeah, I'm happy with the car. I think we're definitely in the window. We just need to (indiscernible) her up a bit, see where the track evolves to.
“There's going to be a lot of different rubbers out there. I think it's going to be significant what the balance is going to be feeling like from qualifying and practicing, so forth.”
The 2022 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be the final time IndyCar races at the Belle Isle street circuit before moving to a downtown venue in 2023.
The Mexican said he will be sad to see Belle Isle go, but is eagerly anticipating the downtown Detroit track: “I'm going to miss Belle Isle regardless. I love this place. Feel like it's a place that has a lot of character.
“Yeah, it's a really cool place. Sad to see it leave. But I know a lot of people are very excited for downtown Detroit. New tracks are always really cool. Looking forward to that.”
Helio Castroneves put in a solid first Practice session in the Motor City with P7 for Meyer Shank and is pleased to return to the rough surface at Belle Isle: “It's great to be back on the concrete area, bumpy area, which I always feel sort of like comfortable.”