20 May 2013
2013 Indy 500: Jourdain misses out on Bump Day
"I was trying to create opportunities for myself. I was very fortunate that I got to be the DeltaWing; that was very cool. I will do more races with them as well," she said. "I was racing at Laguna in the DeltaWing, and [then came] back on the red-eye to Indy. It was Sunday, Opening Day. And I was traipsing around the paddock talking to all the team owners and sponsor and everybody and, you know, trying to get myself an opportunity to get in the field. And I'm so grateful to Sam and Ric Peterson for giving me the opportunity."
Also happy and relieved to be in next weekend's race is Buddy Lazier, whose fledgling Lazier Partners team was only put together a couple of day before the official start to the Indy 500 programme of track activity and who wasn't able to get the car out on track until late in the week, giving him only a couple of days more preparation time than Legge did.
"It's really about the team - they did a great job," he said. "Very small amount of time. A lot of hard work, a lot of heart. We were sweating today. Temperature was going up, everybody was struggling."
Although he's an old hand at IndyCar - he's made 16 starts at Indianapolis and even won the Indy 500 in 1996 - it's Lazier's first time in the new generation Dallara chassis, the DW12, which made its series début along with the new-specification Honda and Chevrolet engines at the start of last season. Lazier admitted that it was taking some getting used to.
"It's a great car, but it's a huge learning curve," he said. "I just really enjoy being here. Big learning curve, but a lot of fun, too. We never were trying to qualify on the pole, so we've been doing a lot of three-quarter tank runs. We think we have a pretty good race car."
Lazier will start from 32nd place putting him in the middle of the back row, with Legge on one side of him and rookie Conor Daly on the other in the #41 AJ Foyt Racing car.
"It's nice to get it all done for once, and it's exciting to get it done early," said the GP3 Series regular, who has had the most eventful time of anyone this week. Daly crashed the car on Thursday and nearly flipped right over, lost out on Fast Friday when the team's efforts to get the car repaired were foiled by an early end to the day's practice session because of torrential rain, and was then thwarted in Pole Day qualifying on Saturday by engine problems.
"I have to thank the crew for all they've done," he said. "I think they had the car apart at least 15 times after the crash and the problems we had. We got the engine back about 8:30 last night, and they worked late getting it back in."
With one exception, the other six drivers qualifying on Bump Day were all series regulars - Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's Josef Newgarden was the fastest qualifier on Sunday followed by RLL's Graham Rahal, Dragon's Sebastian Saavedra, Schmidt-Peterson rookie Tristan Vautier and Dale Coyne Racing's Ana Beatriz. The odd one out is Beatriz' Indy team mate Pippa Mann, who qualified in 30th position.
"This was a nice, clean run," the English driver said after her qualifying effort. "We almost had four really nice clean laps. The wind must have picked up. On my last lap, I got rammed hard into the rev limiter, and we lost a lot of speed. When that happened, it cost us a mile per hour.
Michel Jourdain Jr.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
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