IndyCar »

Rain disrupts Friday practice at Iowa

Rain was the big story at Iowa Speedway on Friday, with the weather severely reducing the available practice times ahead of evening qualifying.
CLICK: Full practice 1 results
CLICK: Full practice 2 results
CLICK: Friday practice combined times

Friday at Iowa Speedway proved to be more a matter of watching the skies and hoping that the rain stopped and stayed away than it was about drivers actually getting out on the 7/8ths of a mile oval and putting down fast lap times.

The first session, which had been scheduled to last for 75 minutes, ended with rain arriving just 15 minutes into the session. When officials were forced to bring out red flags to cancel the session, Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe had posted the fastest lap time of 17.5249s (183.647mph) which was 0.0081s faster than Ganassi's Tony Kanaan.

Until the yellows came out for rain, the only incident of the short-lived first practice session had been for the endplate from the rear win of Ryan Hunter-Reay's #28 flying off.

Because of the drastically curtailed running time, IndyCar officials scheduled a second practice session for later in the afternoon after the rain had passed over the area and the track had been dried. Even so, the new session started an hour later than hoped and was further interrupted just ten minutes into the session by renewed sprinkles of rain.

In the end, the weather relented sufficiently to allow the drivers to have something in the order of 45 minutes of practice, with the best times coming late in the session and going to Penske duo Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power. Montoya's time of 17.4327s (184.619mph) was 0.0033s ahead of the championship leader, while Hinchcliffe repeated his earlier strong form to set the third fastest time of the session.

Although Montoya won pole an the race last week at Pocono, the former F1 and NASCAR driver admitted that he still had a lot to learn about racing an open wheel car at a short oval like Iowa.

"I've got to figure out how close you can run," he explained. "Are you comfortable running the second groove and you've got to experiment, but you've got to experiment carefully because if you get it wrong you are out. Right now, we just really need to be smart about how we do things.

"I think managing traffic is going to be really important," he added. "If you are not leading keeping up with the leaders is going to be key."

The top five times of afternoon practice were set in the second session, with Kanaan the first man not to be able to improve on his speed in the brief first session. For the most part teams were concentrating on race trim and not worrying about qualifying set-up as there is a significant chance that the weather may further affect the planned sessions.

Qualifying is due to take place at 6pm local time (12midnight BST). The schedule originally planned a post-qualifying early evening practice session to allow teams to work on race set-up but that now will not take place, as the circuit is also playing host to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday evening.

The Iowa Corn Indy 300 is scheduled to start at 7.50pm local time (1.50am BST) on Saturday evening, but weather may again be a concern.

Full practice 1 results
Full practice 2 results
Friday practice combined times



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Team Penske crew of Juan Pablo Montoya simulate a pit stop during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya enters Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his car during a rain delay at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin sits in his machine prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin on course during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves in his pit stand following practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud crosses the line at Fontana during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits in his pit stand prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski 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 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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