Stefano Coletti enjoyed Saturday morning in the limelight, as the KV Racing Technology driver set the fastest time in the 30-minute final warm-up session ahead of this afternoon's Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The former GP2 driver set a best lap time of 1:10.5942s (124.378mph) to pip last year's race winner Simon Pagenaud by a comfortable 0.2188s margin. Pagenaud's Penske team mate Will Power was seventh fastest in the warm-up having yesterday successfully clinched pole position for this weekend's event, and the Australian will be joined on the front row today by Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon, who was third fastest in warm-up.
CLICK: Full Saturday warm-up times from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Coletti himself will start from tenth place for the race itself, having made it through to the second round of qualifying for the first time since he made his début in the Verizon IndyCar Series at St Petersburg in March.
"I am really happy with qualifying," said the 26-year-old Monegasque driver. "Finally we advanced to the next round.
"After the first session we thought we could maybe be a little higher, P7 or P8, but in the end that's how it goes," he added. "We still need to find some more grip and get the car better for tomorrow, but I need to thank the #4 crew for all their hard work that they have done this weekend to get me this result today."
Of the difference a decent qualifying outcome can make, Coletti said: "We are happy that we can finally have a proper race, without having to pass everyone and push hard to get our way up front, so we are looking forward to the race tomorrow and to finally being in the top ten>'
His pace in the warm-up session confirmed that yesterday's success in qualifying was no fluke. Further evidence showing that the team is working well on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn clockwise road course situated in the in-field of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the presence of his team mate Sebastien Bourdais in fourth place in today's warm-up.
Bourdais will start from seventh place on the grid but the perfectionist driver was nonetheless still ruing missing out on the Firestone Fast Six pole shoot-out.
"It's a bit disappointing. We have been strong in every practice and if I can't qualify better than I did it's going to be tough to take the challenge to the Penske boys," he said. "I have to do a better job on the Firestone red tyres. The car is really good on blacks, but every time we put the reds on it is a bit of a struggle. I didn't put a whole lap together in round two, I locked up on what should have been my quickest lap.
"We will keep knocking at the door and hopefully at some point it is going to come to us," he added.
There were no major incidents in a relatively laid-back warm-up session on Saturday morning, although Sebastian Saavedra got loose and went for a spin right in front of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Fortunately the Andretti Autosport driver was able to avoid the Chip Ganassi Racing #8 car, and Saavedra - who was on pole for this event in 2014 - then gathered the car back up and returned to pit lane without triggering a red flag.
Dale Coyne Racing's Francesco Dracone was the focus of a couple of on-track dramas before his engine finally let go and dropped oil on the track between turn 10 and 11. He will need to have a new Honda unit in time for this afternoon's green flag. That shouldn't be a problem however - his team mate Carlos Huertas had a similar issue during qualifying on Friday evening and was back out on track on Saturday which saw hi lay down a time over a second faster than Dracone, who was once again bottom of the timesheet when the chequered flag called time.
All that remains now is the running of the second Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis itself, which gets the green flag this afternoon at 3.50pm local time (8.50pm BST).
See full Saturday warm-up times from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis