The Dragon Racing duo were also toward the back of the grid, but considering it was only the second day for the team with their new Chevy engines they were still showing impressive instant speed out of the box: Sebastien Bourdais put in a very presentable lap of 221.191mph (40.6888s) and Katherine Legge was close behind with a best time of 219.430mph (41.0154s).
"We're not even worried about qualifying," said Legge. "If we just get it in the field, we'll get ready for the race."
Legge was able to complete the final phase of her Rookie Orientation Program with no problems to make her eligible for Saturday's qualifying, while Bourdais was also able to satisfactorily run the final laps of his refresher program during Fast Friday.
"No major drama, no moments, no nothing. Just what we want as we build confidence and get data," said Bourdais. "We're just going through what we can with the little time we've got. We were able to get in quite a few laps and get a lot of done. We have to keep still working at it to try to get some more speed out of the car."
Schmidt-Hamilton's Simon Pagenaud got a "weird" call to report for duty half an hour before the official noon start of the six-hour qualifying session, and found himself being presented with a surprise cake to mark his 28th birthday. "It's really nice from the guys," he said. "It is really such a great atmosphere in this team."
The weather continued to be exceptionally perfect for the teams and drivers, registering in the 80s Fahrenheit all afternoon with blue skies and sunshine sending the track temperature up to 125 degrees. The wind was down to an easterly 8mph breeze on Friday, and conditions for the qualifying weekend look set to remain more of the same.
In total there were 32 drivers at work on Fast Friday running a combined total of 1206 laps. There were four cautions for a total of 36 minutes under yellow, one for Jourdain's engine failure and three for routine track inspections or debris clean-up.
Full practice 7 times