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Indy 500: Pole Day - qualifying updates

Next up was Wade Cunningham, who like Bourdais had aborted his first qualifying attempt. His lap speed his 222.689mph. His AJ Foyt Racing team mate Mike Conway will also need to undertake a new qualifying run, after the car had been found to be underweight because it was missing the required ballast after his initial run, and the lap consequently disallowed.

Katherine Legge then ventured out for her first qualifying lap, but Dragon quickly waived it off after just one lap in the 221 range which was plainly to going to get her into the top 24.

The latest activity had seen Ed Carpenter bumped from the top 24, and so he was duly out to try and work his way back in. However, he'd barely started his flying lap when he lost the back end of the car going into turn 2 and had a frightening impact along the wall that threw the car up perpendicular on its side and peeled away much of the left hand bodywork, before landing back on track right side up.

While Carpenter was quick to wave and climb out of the car, that left considerable debris over the area for the safety officials to clear up.

Update at 7.25pm BST (2.25pm Indiana time):

Rubens Barrichello is the first driver out after the initial run through the qualifying order, which he had opted out of. His first qualifying average lap speed is 224.264mph to scrape into ninth place and provisionally bump Alex Taglini out of the pole shootout session, an excellent showing for the rookie.

"Truly happy," said the former F1 driver afterwards. "Very different from anything I've ever tried - that long wait was killing!"

Oriol Servia was next out but got loose and immediately spun out of turn 4 to be the second big accident of the day. The spin sent him into the pit entry area and into a hit with the inside wall and then the pit lane attenuator (the leading nose edge of the wall separating the pit road from the main race track.) The car suffered extensive damage but the tub itself was intact and reusable and Servia himself was unhurt.

A fairly lengthy caution ensured for repairs to be made to the barriers, after which Wade Cunningham and Sebastien Bourdais made their first outings on track but both ended up with waive-offs as they were underspeed.

Tony Kanaan then went out for his second run of the day, to make up for losing his first time for his car lacking the mandatory weight ballast for the #11: perhaps channelling that frustration he easily punched out a 224.751mph aggregate (compared to his initial 225.100mph attempt) to go back into sixth place.

That bumped Barrichello out of the Fast Nine pole shootout, and also knocked Ed Carpenter out of the top 24 whose positions are set by Pole Day qualifying.




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Andrew - Unregistered

May 20, 2012 12:41 AM

The Indy 500 qualifying process is a seriously arcane process, but basically: what was decided today was the top 24 positions. Everyone else who was bumped out of the top 24 now starts from scratch and gets a chance to make brand new qualifying attempts on Sunday. If there were more than 33 cars then drivers would have a sleepless night looking at fighting to get onto the grid. But as there are exactly 33 cars this year, everyone should make it and Sunday is merely about the relative positions of those remaining nine cars on the back three rows.



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