Dale Coyne Racing's joy at putting Justin Wilson through to the Firestone Fast Six in Saturday qualifying turned to dismay when the #18 car's times were deleted following technical inspection.
Wilson's car was found not to be fitted with either an on-board TV camera, or with the alternative 'dummy' equipment supplied by IndyCar to replace the camera with the same aerodynamic and weight characteristics and ensure no one gains unfair advantage. The failure was a breach of section 18.104.22.168 of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook.
As a consequence of the loss of his times, Wilson will lose his sixth place grid position and will have to start from the back for today's Sao Paulo Honda Indy 300 in Brazil. Takuma Sato also has a grid penalty for an unscheduled engine change, while Katherine Legge will have to serve a grid penalty held over from Long Beach where she was forced into changing two Lotus units in quick succession.
It looks like rain could be a major factor in the day's proceedings, with Sunday warm-up facing wet and windy conditions that are likely to persist into the afternoon.
Track workers had done their best to take care of large amounts of standing water that had collected overnight during torrential downpours, although there were still large puddles left on pit lane. While the rain had eased off to a relatively gentle but consistent rate by morning, the cars immediately started to throw up large rooster tails and struggled not to aquaplane off at the first opportunity.
Turn 11 proved to be an early problem, with Tony Kanaan, Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson all having to take to the runoff in quick succession, although all three were able to get turned around and get back underway.
Even so, the conditions dictated that it was only a matter of time before the red flags started flying. The first was soon out for JR Hildebrand stalling in the turn 6 runoff area, and the track had barely gone green when Katherine Legge ended up stopping out on track down the back straight, requiring a lengthy recovery by the pick-up track to pit lane.
By this point, with only a little over ten minutes of the half-hour warm-up session remaining and no driver having had a chance to complete more than five laps, EJ Viso headed the timesheets with a lap of 1:39.1262s. That demonstrated just how poor conditions were, being almost 20s off the pole position lap set by Power during a dry Saturday.
Once things got back underway, Kanaan survived right-rear contact from Takuma Sato into turn 11 which wrecked Sato's front wing. Sato was handed a drive-thru penalty for having caused the contact. Fortunately Kanaan saved his car and kept going without bringing out out a caution, but another brief red followed just a few minutes later for Helio Castroneves stranding himself in the turn 3 run-off.