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Indy 500: Bump Day completes 33-car grid

The starting grid for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 race was finalised early on Bump Day, with the rest of Sunday given over to the teams to make further practice runs.
It has to be admitted: as Bump Days go, this one is not going to feature highly in lists of the most memorable or the most nail-biting.

In previous years, top drivers have been on tenterhooks until the final minutes of the Sunday session waiting to see if they would make it onto the starting grid for that year's Indy 500. Last year saw Ryan Hunter-Reay ejected from the field in the final minutes, leading to the ignominy of his team having to buy him a seat in the car already qualified by Bruno Junqueira. The previous year, Tony Kanaan had come perilously close to finding himself out of luck and out of the race.

But this year there was never going to be any such drama. With 33 drivers competing to get onto the 33-car grid, the mathematics meant that realistically everyone would be lining up for the green flag - provided that they just put in the necessary four timed laps over the weekend. Any times would do: there is no 107% qualifying limit at Indianapolis.

It might sound easy, but three drivers had found out the painful way that making it onto the grid is never actually a slam dunk: Bryan Clauson, Oriol Servia and Ed Carpenter all crashed into the wall on Saturday and had to wait overnight for their cars to be fixed. Any similar slip on the Sunday which put the car out of action again would likely see them miss the race.

None did: all nine drivers duly came out and put in their four timed laps without incident. The first out was Simona de Silvestro, who set a benchmark of 214.393mph (2:47.9162s) in the under-powered Lotus HVM machine.

"It was all right. Not the speed we want for the month, but I think we're in the show, so that's a really good thing," she said afterwards. "We just have to focus on our program with the Lotus engine. We don't have the speed we want, but we've been creeping up to the other manufacturers, so that's a really positive sign."

After that everyone came out in turn with a minimum of fuss and drama and put in their qualifying runs. AJ Foyt Racing's Mike Conway was out next, still annoyed at having missed out on a top 24 spot after his first qualifying time on Pole Day had been disallowed for his car being underweight. His qualifying effort on Sunday saw him post a speed of 222.319mph (2:41.9293s).

"We're in the race ... I would have loved to have put it in the show yesterday, we would have been better off," he said. "We weren't looking to blow the world away with speed today. It was a case of getting in comfortably and not doing anything stupid.

"The car has been very similar all month in terms of handling, it's been very good," he added. "We had a slight boost issue, but it went away."




Related Pictures

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Bryan Clauson (#39) during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Simona De Silvestro (#78) during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams, LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge`s (#6) first lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Indy Car during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Sebastien Bourdais (#7) on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with third-place finisher Tony Kanaan (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Start of the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6; and Tony Kanaan (right), driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6; celebrate with Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who raced to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power finished second. Kanaan finished third. Chevrolet took the top six places in the first race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher)
Juan Pablo Montoya enters Turn 3 during the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power clash in the closing laps of the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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