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IndyCar: Hunter-Reay tops warm-up despite spinning out

Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in Sunday morning warm-up, but Andretti Autosport will now be busy repairing the #28 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
Sunday morning's warm-up session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course saw the unusual situation where two of the top three cars ended their half-hour final track availability in the tyre walls.

Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay set the fastest time of the session with a lap of 1:06.5160s (122.208s) on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course to put him 0.3313s ahead of Penske's Helio Castroneves at the end of the half-hour warm-up.

CLICK: Full Sunday morning warm-up times from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

However, immediately after setting his flying lap, Hunter-Reay then hit problems when the #28 car bottomed out and spun going through turn 1. Unable to do anything to save the car, Hunter-Reay went backwards into the inside tyre wall on the exit of the corner doing significant damage to the rear wing and both the front and back ends of the car on the right hand side.

Hunter-Reay - who was victorious in the last race at Iowa Speedway on July 18 - climbed out of the car without requiring assistance, and was not hurt in the incident.

The session was red-flagged to allow the car to be retrieved and taken back to the garage area, and the Andretti crew were hard at work starting repairs even as the warm-up session resumed for the remaining five minutes that were still left on the clock.

The session was soon back to red flag conditions when Jack Hawksworth also had an off in the #41 Aj Foyt Racing car. In his car, the incident took place at the exit of turn 12 otherwise known as the Carousel. He also made contact with the tyre barriers, but in the Briton's case the contact was relatively light and didn't do anything like the damage suffered by Hunter-Rear's car.

The session ended under the red flag, and Hawksworth ended up credited with the third fastest time over all clocking in at 1:06.8559s (121.587mph), just 0.0086s behind second place man Castroneves.

With Castroneves' Penske team mate Simon Pagenaud having his best session of the weekend so far with fourth place in the warm-up following an engine change on Saturday before qualifying, and Hunter-Reay's colleague Marco Andretti finishing fifth-fastest just ahead of Ganassi's Scott Dixon in sixth, the top of the time sheets had a pleasing even distribution alternating between Honda and Chevrolet representatives.

Dixon will start on pole position for this afternoon's race alongside reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power, who was again just behind the Kiwi in Sunday's session, pushed down to seventh place in the final standings by just 0.142s.

Charlie Kimball (Ganassi), Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing) and Tony Kanaan (Ganassi) rounded out the top ten, the bottom half of which had a more solid all-Chevy look to it.

Graham Rahal just missed out on a top ten spot. Currently in second place in the 2015 championship standings, 42 points behind Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver knows he has his work cut out for him if he's to race his way into contention at Mid-Ohio after a frustrating qualifying left him facing a start from 13th place on the grid.

Rahal blamed Ganassi rookie Sage Karam for blocking him in qualifying, something denied by Karam himself. The incident had been reviewed by race control and no action taken. Karam will be starting six places further back down the grid from Rahal.

As for the points leader, Montoya's not had the smooth sort of weekend preparation that he would have been hoping for after losing practice time to alternator issues on Friday. Although he was able to clinch a top ten slot on the grid for the race in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, he was once again struggling for pace on Sunday morning and could only manage 18th fastest.

The 90-lap, 203.22-mile Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is set to take the green flag just after 2pm (7pm) this evening.

See full Sunday morning warm-up times from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls down pit lane for practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Simon Penske - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar media/Bret Kelley]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Will Power - Penske  [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Sebastian Bourdais (KVSH Racing) celebrates in Detroit   [image creid: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Sebastian Bourdais - KVSH Racing   [image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) celebrates pole at Long Beach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]

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