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Indy 500: Pole Day - qualifying updates

Top ten at the midway point: Hinchcliffe, Power, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, Briscoe, Andretti, Newgarden, Viso, Tagliani and Rahal.

Only two Hondas - Newgarden and Tagliani - are in the top nine in line for the pole shootout. In particular neither of the two main Ganassi drivers - Dixon and Franchitti - are looking likely to progress.

Update at 5.30pm BST (12.30pm Indiana time):

Tony Kanaan had the first qualifying run of the day and posted an average lap speed of 225.100s to set the first benchmark for Pole Day.

Simona de Silvestro missed her place in the pre-qualifying inspection line meaning that she could not take up her initial guaranteed qualifying run and will have to wait for everyone to complete their first run.

Katherine Legge also did not take up her spot, in what looked like a conscious decision by Dragon Racing to sit out the early sessions and possibly not make a qualifying run until Sunday's Bump Day.

Townsend Bell (221.514mph) and Scott Dixon (223.684mph) can't top Kanaan's time, but Will Power set a new provisional pole time of 225.339s. The fastest man in morning warm-up, Helio Castroneves, narrowly failed to beat that with a lap of 225.282s.

Andretti Autosport's first representative, Sebastian Saavedra, has a major engine failure on his run, but Ryan Hunter-Reay goes second with 225.289mph.

The two Dale Coyne Racing cars of Justin Wilson (222.929mph) and James Jakes (222.338mph) both struggle with handling; Wilson suggests that the wind might have picked up while Jakes speculates about climbing temperatures.

As if on cue, Bryan Clauson crashes shortly thereafter when he gets out of the groove into turn 2, spins and hits the SAFER barrier, demolishing the left rear of the car. He climbs out but looks shaken. There's a brief pause while debris is removed from underneath the SAFER barrier. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing have a spare car, but it's in pieces according to team owner Sarah Fisher.

Dario Franchitti makes his run and posts a time of 223.582mph but says he's very unhappy with the car right now and that it seems the Honda cars don't have the speed. His Ganassi stablemates Graham Rahal post 223.868mph and 223.959mph respectively.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Briscoe in the #2 Penske Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves testing the new speedway specification aerokits at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April. [Picture credit: Ryan Briscoe/Twitter]
Ryan Briscoe. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Sebastian Saavedra celebrates with his team after bumping his way into the field during qualifying for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Charlie Kimball
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
IndyCar, Dallara 2018 chassis, [Credit: IndyCar]
Graham Rahal Detroit celebration
Detroit IndyCar race start
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit

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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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