2014 Indianapolis 500 (inc practice, qualifying, rookie orientation sessions)

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    Really happy to see Hinch quickly on form again!


    Morning practice sees Marco Andretti set a 232.239mph lap.

    Iestyn Davies

    Managed to catch Montoya and JV qualifying just under 230. Interesting that they are going faster now, Indycar did say they wanted speed up again. Aero tweaks? 9 above 230 looked good. 232 is another little step up…


    They’d have broken the record already if road course\short oval engine settings were permitted.


    Ed Carpenter takes pole position for the second year in a row with the fastest average speed seen at Indianapolis in over a decade. He averaged 231.067mph (370.418kph) over four laps.

    And just over a week after being injured in the road course race at Indianapolis James Hinchcliffe claimed second on the grid.

    Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve line up 10th and 27th respectively on their returns to the speedway.

    Here’s the qualifying order:

    1. (20) Ed Carpenter – 231.067mph
    2. (27) James Hinchcliffe – 230.839mph
    3. (12) Will Power – 230.697mph
    4. (3) Helio Castroneves – 230.649mph
    5. (77) Simon Pagenaud – 230.614mph
    6. (25) Marco Andretti – 230.544mph
    7. (34) Carlos Munoz – 230.146mph
    8. (67) Josef Newgarden – 229.893mph
    9. (21) JR Hildebrand – 228.726mph
    10. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya – 231.007mph
    11. (9) Scott Dixon – 230.928mph
    12. (26) Kurt Busch – 230.782mph
    13. (98) Jack Hawksworth – 230.506mph
    14. (19) Justin Wilson – 230.256mph
    15. (7) Mikhail Aleshin – 230.049mph
    16. (10) Tony Kanaan – 229.922mph
    17. (11) Sebastien Bourdais – 229.847mph
    18. (16) Oriol Servia – 229.752mph
    19. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay – 229.719mph
    20. (15) Graham Rahal – 229.628mph
    21. (18) Carlos Huertas – 229.251mph
    22. (63) Pippa Mann – 229.223mph
    23. (14) Takuma Sato – 229.201mph
    24. (68) Alex Tagliani – 229.148mph
    25. (6) Townsend Bell – 229.009mph
    26. (83) Charlie Kimball – 228.953mph
    27. (5) Jacques Villeneuve – 228.949mph
    28. (33) James Davison – 228.865mph
    29. (41) Martin Plowman – 228.814mph
    30. (8) Ryan Briscoe – 228.713mph
    31. (22) Sage Karam – 228.436mph
    32. (17) Sebastian Saavedra – 228.088mph
    33. (91) Buddy Lazier – 227.92mph


    Crazy, crazy speeds.


    I take it you weren’t watching when Luyendyk set the 236mph record in ’96? ;-)

    Delta Golf Sierra

    Interesting tweet from @IMS – “The average qualifying speed for the field today was 229.382mph. That makes this the fastest field in #Indy500 history!”

    Weather forecast looks great for Indy 500 weekend.
    Indy 500 Week forecast

    Iestyn Davies

    Wow… looks like it will be a race to watch. I’m disappointed Montoya won’t line up 2nd, but it looks like Montoya, Dixon and Kurt Busch all have a good car to get to the front and compete for the win, along with the other top team cars. Is Carpenter somewhat of an Indy 500 specialist? I don’t hear much of him outside of this and the occasional race win.. I know he runs his own team though (and sits out the road courses now for Conway).

    I didn’t realise that the engines were also dialled down for Indy.. makes me think of NASCAR on the big ovals. I’m also not surprised to see Saavedra on the back row alongside Lazier, after the start debacle last week.. wasn’t it also Saavedra spinning under pressure from Hinchcliffe, that set off the Las Vegas pile up? That was truly a crazy situation to be put into however, with sad consequences the result. Looks like JV, Briscoe and Karam may struggle to get into the top half of the field.


    Montoya and Dixon weren’t quick enough on the first day to qualify for the pole shootout. Carpenter’s background is oval racing, and he’s excelled at that in Indycar as well (he started his own team after winning for Sarah Fisher in 2011, at Kentucky).

    If Luiz Razia steps up to Indycar next year, it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up at KV to replace Saavedra.


    Hefty crash for Kurt Busch during practice:


    Big impact, just a little bit of oversteer as he applied the throttle. Good to see he’s OK


    Crashes like that remind you just how totally bonkers the Indy 500 (and single-seater oval racing) really is. Just a minor wiggle turns into a monster hit at those speeds.

    Still, that’s partly why it’s such an amazing spectacle. Because it is so extreme.


    Geez, that was a big shunt. We F1 fans talk about Monaco being a major challenge for the drivers because they can’t make a mistake, I think we are guilty of forgetting (I certainly am) that getting a tiny tickle of oversteer at Indy will result in a massive shunt like that.

    A more general point, does anyone know why the Indy 500 has all these practice and qualifying days? It is obviously the biggest race in IndyCar, but does it warrant having a whole month to itself?


    It doesn’t have a whole month (about 2 weeks now, excluding the road course race). That was back in the day of 50+ entries. I think being the first oval on the current schedule justifies some of the extra practice, aside from the prestige. Several drivers\teams would prefer a 500 win on their resume than the championship, and it is technically still part of the motorsport “Triple Crown”.

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