IndyCar »

Tagliani claims pole again in Texas

The other driver who missed the 105 per cent mark was HVM Racing's Simona de Silvestro, with her Lotus engine still not delivering the raw power needed for oval races. While both de Silvestro and Hildebrand will still be able to start the race (unlike the equivalent situation in F1), any car that still does not meet the 105 per cent cut-off int he opening laps will be ordered to park on safety grounds - as happened to de Silvestro early in the Indianapolis 500 last month.

Josef Newgarden was not able to post any time at all, after his Honda engine failed in the earlier practice session and the team was still working to install a new one. He will start at the back of the field on Saturday along with de Silvestro, and Mike Conway will also start ten places back from the 8th place he posted in Friday's session because of an engine change penalty at Belle Isle last weekend.

There was considerable debate up and down pit road about the levels of downforce available to the teams at Texas, with opinion seemingly divided between those lobbying for less downforce on safety grounds and those frustrated that it meant less chance of overtaking and side-by-side racing.

"We're on a bit of a mission as drivers to try to improve the safety of the series," said Penske's Ryan Briscoe, one of those drivers wanting to reduce downforce in order to ensure that the race doesn't become dominating by pack drafting. "We want to make the right steps towards making it safer and get it away from having cars running right on top of each other."

The ability of cars to run closely together in packs was one of the factors deemed to have contributed to the disastrous fatal accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last October, the last time that the IZOD IndyCar Series ran on a 1.5-mile high-banked oval track like Texas.

However, not everyone agreed with the approach.

"Everyone is freaking out about the pack racing," said owner-driver Ed Carpenter. "I'm lobbying hard for more downforce [or else] it's going to be a follow-the-leader, the most boring race we've ever had at Texas."

Rubens Barrichello - who posted a lap of 213.949mph (48.9650s) to claim 14th position on the grid for tomorrow's race - indicated that the drivers would meet with Beaux Barfield at the end of Friday to discuss the situation and hopefully agree a way forward.

But Dario Franchitti has experience of such situations in the past, and said, "Put 10 drivers together, they won't agree on anything," adding wryly: "Same as the owners."

There is a final practice session at 6.45pm local time, closer to the evening conditions that the race itself will actually be run in. That allows the teams and drivers to start setting up their cars for the cooler evening and nighttime conditions for the Firestone 550k. After that session, the circuit hosts this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday evening.

Full qualifying times are available.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alex Tagliani celebrates his second consecutive pole position of the season for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, for the first race of the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Alex Tagliani watches the on-track action during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media]
Pole Winner Alex Tagliani and the Bryan Herta Autosport team (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fifth fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Montoya is leading the Driver`s Championship in points heading into this final race of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Sam Cobb/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power being interviewed after winning the pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Penske`s Will Power during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sits in his Honda machine on pit lane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power watches track activity from his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power slides into his Team Penske Chevrolet prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.