Alonso shows positive signs in Indy practice

2017 Indianapolis 500 entry list confirms just 33 cars

Although Andretti agreed that being fastest in the draft on the first day of practice wasn't hugely significant, he said he was satisfied that the Andretti Autosport cars are fast.

"So hopefully by then Fernando will have a good enough feel".

"Happier than the first day (May 3) with the auto because I was able to feel some of the setup changes that we were planning in the morning".

Alonso, who only settled into the cockpit of an IndyCar for the first time less than two weeks ago, will be eying a victory on May 28 that would put him a step closer to emulating Graham Hill in winning motor racing's Triple Crown.

"The last half an hour maybe we had some issues with the rear suspension, and we could not complete the program that we was planning to run a little bit in traffic at the end of the day, so we missed that part", Alonso said.

With Andretti's team attempting to put six cars on the traditional 33-car starting grid, they can spend most of that time gathering data from the other five drivers as Alonso gets acclimated to driving counterclockwise between concrete walls at speeds routinely topping 220 miles per hour.

Alonso, who flew directly from Barcelona to Indianapolis after a 12th place finish at his home Spanish Grand Prix at the weekend, started the first full day of practice at the Brickyard by setting the pace in the rookie orientation session with a speed of 357kmh.

Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Harvey, who had completed the first of the three phases of rookie orientation, was uninjured but the vehicle sustained right-side damage and did not return to the track. Honda drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.

And after describing the track as "narrow" following his first Indy test, Alonso started to get a sense of how much more nerve-wracking it can be when 31 other drivers are turning laps with him. Two-time Indy pole-winner Ed Carpenter was the only Chevrolet driver in the top five.

"Overall, it was an fantastic day" Alonso said. But more prepared than me when I was 19, know what I mean?

Officially, 32 of the 33 cars had been announced with the only one not made official the family run entry for 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier.

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