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Full field set for Indianapolis 500
Question of the Day
When Ryan Hunter-Reay ran out of gas on the final lap in the 2010 race, the hard-charging Mike Conway couldn’t avoid him and wound up going airborne into the catch fence. Conway broke his leg, sustained a compression fracture in his back and missed the rest of the season.
Last year, with only Charlie Kimball’s lapped car between JR Hildebrand and the finish line, Hildebrand tried to pass on the high side and wound up in the fourth turn wall. Hildebrand walked away from the collision but finished second.
It’s enough of a concern that Lotus and IndyCar officials have discussed potential solutions, Lotus’ IndyCar project manager John Judd said Sunday. A decision is not expected until later this week.
What’s the solution? Perhaps giving the two Lotus cars more power on race day.
“If 31 cars are running at one speed and you have two slower cars…” Judd said before pausing. “We’ve progressed since we started here. We’re running fast, but not as quick as we would like.”
They were at least quick enough to make the race, along with everyone else.
De Silvestro made her qualifying run six minutes after the track opened. Over the next 43 minutes, Conway, four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, English rookie Katherine Legge, Spanish driver Oriol Servia, former Freedom 100 winner Wade Cunningham and Alesi all qualified for the race.
After a brief delay, American rookie Bryan Clauson, who crashed Saturday, took his turn and qualified Sarah Fisher’s second car at 214.455 _ substantially slower than the speeds he had posted earlier this week. Clauson’s addition gave the race 32 qualifiers.
“You know, obviously, when you have a run like we did yesterday at 223 and a half or so and come back today and go run that, you’re not excited,” said Clauson, who added a Band-Aid to the sidepod of his car Sunday. “But it’s a product of just needing to get four laps in and putting something that was safe on the car and making sure we didn’t have another incident like we did yesterday.”
Clauson’s run left Ed Carpenter, who was involved in a hard crash Saturday, as the only non-qualified driver left.
At 2:04, Carpenter ended any potential suspense by qualifying in 222.324.
Bourdais, of France, was Sunday’s top qualifier at 223.760 and will start 25th. Had he posted that speed on Saturday, Bourdais would have been starting 15th.
The only blemish the rest on a rather dull afternoon Bump Day came when Kimball spun in the first turn and ended up in the outside wall. He was released later from the infield medical care center and cleared to drive.
“It’s a massive relief after the week or two we’ve had,” said Legge, Bourdais’ teammate at Dragon Racing. “We haven’t had time on track to work on qualifying setup or anything like that, so we needed to find a car that was easy to drive at this stage.”
By Donald Lambro
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