Grand Prix of Indy Qualifications: Instant Reaction


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The cars are all brightly painted and freshly decaled for the Month of May and there was even a little excitement during qualifying today – precious little. Some off course adventures livened up the show a bit, including Luca Filippi going off course during the second round in his sharp green CFH Racing Fuzzy’s car. His team mate and Barber winner Josef Newgarden also advanced to the top twelve but no further in his worst qualifying effort in several races. In a potential case of anti-New Zealander bias, Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais and KV Racing protested Scottie Dixon‘s fast lap in round two after a brief on track encounter between the two rivals. IndyCar race control wisely denied KV’s seemingly hemispherist and ugly complaint.


Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Unluckily, Carlos Huertas of ‘Dollar’ Dale Coyne Racing saw his Honda engine blow up, spewing oil all over the recently configured track. Even when intact the Hondas remain significantly slower than the Chevys. Jack Hawksworth of AJ Foyt Racing managed to be the sole Japanese manufacturer representative in the top twelve, starting eleventh tomorrow. Our predicted race winner James Hinchcliffe narrowly missed the cut in his SPM Honda though rain in the forecast could still help the unlucky Canuck in the race. Speaking of rotten under-powered luck, the entire Andretti team will start from the rear of the field thanks to their Hondas.


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It was an exclusively Penske and Ganassi fast six and you probably know the rest from there. Will Power sped quickest the wrong way around IMS this afternoon setting a new track record and possibly ending his run of bad luck, though as we recall last year’s pole sitter didn’t fare so well – see below. Target’s Scott Dixon was second quick, followed by Helio and our predicted pole sitter JPM in fourth.


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It appeared to be a small crowd even with free admission to today’s qualifying at IMS. Adding to the surreal scene, Paul Page sounded confused on the streaming commentary while young Lights driver Zach Veach didn’t seem knowledgeable enough to be in the booth. Also unhelpful, IndyCar’s qualifications stream was extremely weak again, as was the Speedway’s unfortunately. It’s truly sad when Twitter’s more reliable than streaming for big league racing qualifications at The Motorsports Mecca. With the usual suspects in the front three rows and the Hondas fading fast, we must say it’s a dubious start to the Month of May.


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