Shell Helix Racing's Steve Johnson and Warren Luff showed they both had plenty of fighting spirit in Saturday's V8 race at Indy.

Luff had a spin early in the race with resulted in a smoky cockpit. The team was about to bring Luff in to repair the damage but Luff chose to stay out on track.

"The damage was sustained at the rear of the car and it caused the tyre to rub against the fender," he said. "It was pretty difficult to breathe and I was about to come in but I decided to stay out a bit longer and to see how I travelled. The smoke did subside a bit, which made it easier for me.

"I am so angry that I put myself in this situation in the first place, I simply locked up the brakes and this put me into the fence. I was lucky the damage was so minor I suppose."

Luff was in 17th place at the time and he was putting pressure on those in front of him. He recovered in 22nd but immediately started improving his position before his forced retirement.

"I was gradually making my way through some traffic," Luff said. "I, like many, benefited from retirements and on-track incidents but I was able to reclaim seventeenth before retiring.

"It's terrible when you work so hard and then the hard work goes to waste, but there was little I could do. I had an engine failure and had to park the car in the garage."

Fellow Shell Helix driver Steve Johnson had a better day of it finishing just outside the top 10. The result would have been better had he not spun his Ford on lap 15.

"I was battling for position with John Bowe when we connected, spinning us both," Johnson said. "I was trying to overtake and we touched, there was nothing in it and it was not done on purpose, it just happened. It was a shame cause we were both driving really well and I was enjoying the battle, I'm just glad that the spin didn't completely ruin both of our races.

"We both recovered pretty well and didn't lose much in the way of position. The spin meant there was a bit of a gap between me and the car in front so there was no point in chasing, there wasn't enough laps left to do anything.

"With Ellery's drop I ended up eleventh which puts be in a semi-decent starting place tomorrow. The Ford is good, it could do with a bit more pace but overall it wasn't too bad."

 

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