Indy 500: Castroneves tops practice, three last-chancers run

Helio Castroneves went fastest for Meyer Shank Racing as Fast Nine pole contenders got an opportunity for last-minute testing, as did the five fighting for the last row.

Indy 500: Castroneves tops practice, three last-chancers run

The last row contenders were the first group granted 30mins, but only three took advantage of the track’s availability – Simona De Silvestro of Paretta Autosport, Charlie Kimball of AJ Foyt Racing and RC Enerson of startup team Top Gun Racing.

In the end, De Silvestro turned 10 laps, her best being her second – a 228.998mph effort. That was a full 1mph ahead of Kimball who ran seven laps. Enerson completed 14 laps, his 10th being his best, but 1.6mph off De Silvestro.

Read Also:

Meanwhile the shock driver in this group, 2018 Indy winner Will Power of Team Penske, and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam, stayed in the garage, unwilling to risk their cars on a track that is getting hotter, and perhaps wouldn’t have yielded representative speeds this morning.

Power told NBC: “We’re just trying to execute everything absolutely perfectly. Looking at videos, gears and shifting strategies. We looked at everything. All I can do is do my absolute best to do everything to get in.

“You can never underestimate this place. You never come in thinking it’s a given you’ll be fast. The field is more competitive than it’s ever been. The team worked as hard as I’ve ever seen them work for this race. We just have to execute and do the best job we can. 

“Believe me, we’re scratching our heads. I know how these guys prepare the car. I know how much effort went into this. I don’t know where the speed is. The car is handling well.

“Trimming out any more, you’ll fall off too much. I’m looking at the overall four laps. I’m within 30 pounds [of downforce] of what Scott [McLaughlin, teammate] ran yesterday.

“We’ve got the car we’ve got. We just have to execute everything we can the best we can. If it’s not good enough, that’s life. We just have to deal with it. I have to do my absolute best to get in the show. I don’t want the variability of someone doesn’t get a gust of wind and I do.

“Everyone is in the same boat. I can’t see anything that’ll make us faster right now. We’ll rub on it a little bit.

“Based on watching practice, I think we should be good. But I’m thinking last night. RC Enerson seems certainly far off, but Sage is about as fast as we are, Simona’s car can be faster than what we’ve got. If she executes she’ll be quickest. It could be between Charlie and myself. It could be tight. It’s not a given.” 

Following their session, three of the Fast Nine contenders took to the track, and it was four-time Indy polesitter, three-time Indy race-winner Castroneves who emerged top with a best speed of 230.509mph in the #06 MSR-Honda. He turned 12 laps overall.

The 2014 Indy winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, who shocked himself with his pace yesterday after being fairly “average” throughout the week, was just 0.1mph behind in the #28 Andretti Autosport car, and only turned in one four-lap run.

Inevitably the third driver to take advantage of this session was Alex Palou, following his Turn 2 crash yesterday. The Chip Ganassi Racing team worked hard overnight to rebuild his original car, and he turned 17 laps this morning, his best being a 230.282. The series (and Indy) sophomore also managed to take Turn 2 completely flat on his first flyer.

Last Chance Qualifying for the three final-row slots will be 75mins, and starts at 1.15pm. Each entry is guaranteed one attempt – average speed over four laps, as usual – and can make multiple attempts until time expires. If multiple attempts are made, a car’s previous run average is pulled and it’s the most recent speed that is eligible.

The Fast Nine shootout to determine pole position begins at 3.00pm, with its order based on Saturday times, slowest to fastest. Ergo: Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi-Honda), Hunter-Reay, Palou, Castroneves, Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet), Ed Carpenter (ECR-Chevy), Tony Kanaan (Ganassi), Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport-Honda) and finally three-time Indy 500 pole-winner Scott Dixon (Ganassi). Each car is granted just one four-lap run.

shares
comments

Related video

Former Indy car star Andre Ribeiro dies of cancer aged 55
Previous article

Former Indy car star Andre Ribeiro dies of cancer aged 55

Next article

Indy 500: Karam, Power, De Silvestro have made the race

Indy 500: Karam, Power, De Silvestro have made the race
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021