Archive for May 13, 2015

Jim Haines PM

Pippa Mann in the No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda-Dallara tangled with a couple of Indianapolis Motor Speedway walls and walked away after a rocky ride during practice here late this afternoon at the Brickyard.

Chris Jones P1         Chris Jones P2

Exiting Turn 4 high, Mann realized that the cars in front of her were checking up and she failed to make the correction she needed to keep the car’s downforce in place. She first hit the inside wall, then spun in the wall attenuator (or crash cushion) covering the entrance to pit lane. Her car ended up resting against the outside wall.

She was helped from the car and walked under her own power to the safety truck. Mann then visited the infield hospital, was checked out and cleared to drive.

Photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Images created by Chris Jones and Jim Haines

Helio Flip

First wall incident this month of May, Helio Castroneves hits safer barrier between turn one and turn two, and flips upside down. He exited the car on his own and was transported to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Infield Medical Center where he was evaluated. Team Penske Owner Roger Penske says Castroneves is fine and IndyCar now says Castroneves is cleared to drive.

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At the start of the day Tuesday, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was cool and breezy, quite breezy.

But that didn’t stop IndyCar race teams from getting after it as the track grew busy in a hurry and stayed that way until a grand total of 34 cars completed 1,958 laps around the storied Brickyard.

Chris Owens 3 carSo quickly in fact, that the fastest time of the day was set just 37 minutes into the session with Helio Castroneves No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Team Penske Chevrolet posting a 227.514 mph lap time, not only fastest of the day, but fastest of the month.

Castroneves was clearly pleased with on his efforts for the day, saying: “It was a good day. The Shell V-Power Nitro+ car was super strong, super solid, felt comfortable. Now we’ve got to just keep working with this new aero kit. Today was basically the second day that we’ve been working constantly, but I like what I see. Things are looking in the right direction. We’re not focused on just the lap, we’re focused on the performance of it all.”

As quickly as the long line of cars got busy on track, it was just after the 2pm mark that practice quickly ground to halt due to an incident involving Simona de Silvestro.

de Silvestro’s No. 29 TE Connectivity Andretti Autosport Honda-Dallara began smoking coming out of the backstretch before becoming fully engulfed in fire as she pulled the car off track. She exited the car unharmed and the fire was extinguished.  Honda reported that the root of the fire proved to be fuel leak from a defective refueling buckeye, leaking fuel following a pit stop and eventually catching fire on the exhaust headers.

Mike HardingIt was later reported that the Andretti Autosport team was returning de Silvestro’s car to the team’s local shop for a complete teardown. It will be fully inspected and rebuilt and is not expected to be ready for practice tomorrow.

Joe Skibinski -sSimona explained here take on the situation: “It’s definitely unfortunate because the car is pretty burnt down, and it’s really frustrating that it seems like fire follows me. Maybe this time is ‘third time’s the charm,’ and hopefully the team can get the car back together as quickly as possible. Until now, everything was working fine, and it’s just annoying because it’s a pretty big setback for us, but I have four great teammates and that will make it easier for us to continue moving forward.”

Later in the day another yellow flag was waved as James Jakes No. 7 Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports Honda-Dallara experienced an engine failure. No long after that Jack Hawksworth in the No. 41 A.J. Foyt ABC Supply Honda experienced what appeared to be brake failure.

Ending the day was a yellow flag generated by Andretti Autosports No. 25 Justin Wilson whose Honda engine had an engine failure.

Other top five speeds for the day were Simon Pagenaud at 227.382 mph, Scott Dixon at 226.769 mph, Justin Wilson at 226.688 mph and Townsend Bell at 226.519 mph.

Chris Owens4Townsend Bell in the No. 24 The Robert Graham Special Chevrolet summarized his teams progess: “It was another good day for our team. I feel like we are in a window where we have a feel for what we might want on race day. And it was nice to get some pit stop practice in today as well. The Robert Graham Special feels very good so far and we are moving through our list of engineering items. We are still learning. These are still early days and we are trying to understand all of the aero data. We have a great group of guys who know how to get through that data. Looking forward to Wednesday now.”

An announcement came that James Davidson will be the driver in the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, bringing the Coyne contingent up to three cars for qualifying. Davidson spoke of his delight in being back at IMS: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be back in an Indy car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the windiest conditions I have driven in. I was quite fortunate last year to drive in very ideal conditions, so there was a lot more movement in the car than I had experienced before. We were regulated to run under 215 (mph) and I’m just really looking forward to getting on with our proper program tomorrow.”

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE

Noon-6pm– Indianapolis 500 practice

IND 5-12 indycar-results-p2

Photos courtesy of IndyCar …

Images created by Chris Owens, Jim Harding and Joe Skibinski