IndyCar Series 2017
・Six Honda drivers to contend for “Fast Nine” pole shootout
・Dixon, Rossi, Alonso, Kanaan and Andretti also make “Fast Nine”
・Final qualifying Sunday to set 33-car field
SPEEDWAY, Ind., (May 20, 2017) – Led by Andretti Autoport’s Takuma Sato, six Honda drivers completed qualifying runs among the top nine drivers today in first-round qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and will take part in Sunday’s “Fast Nine” shootout for the coveted pole position in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28.
The tight first-round qualifying battle Saturday – held under changing weather conditions after activities were delayed by rain for approximately five hours – saw the nine pole contenders separated by less than a half mile per hour over four laps around the historic 2.5-mile Brickyard.
Following Sato, second fastest on the day, was Scott Dixon for Chip Ganassi Racing, third. Defending race winner Alexander Rossi posted the fifth-fastest average for Andretti Autosport, with teammate Fernando Alonso slotting in seventh as the only Indy 500 rookie to make the Fast Nine shootout. Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti rounded out the nine finalists for the pole.
Today’s qualifying action was also marred by a massive crash for Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais had already set the two fastest qualifying laps of the day – at more than 231 mph – when the rear of his car started to slide in Turn 2. After an initial attempt at correcting the slide, his Dale Coyne Racing Honda turned hard right and hit the SAFER Barrier nearly head-on, then rolled down the track before coming to a stop upright.
After being removed from his car, Bourdais was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital, where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip. According to INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows, Bourdais will undergo surgery on his pelvis this evening.
The nine fastest drivers from today’s first-round qualifying will contend for the pole on Sunday, with each driver making a single qualifying run to determine his starting position in the first three rows of the “500”. The remaining drivers are assured of making the field, but will also make second-round qualifying runs tomorrow to determine starting positions 10 through 33.
|1||Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing)|
|2||Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport)|
|3||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|4||JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Racing)|
|5||Alexander Rossi (Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian)|
|6||Will Power (Team Penske)|
|7||Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda-Andretti)|
|8||Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|9||Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport)|
|10||Ed Jones (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|11||Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|12||Max Chilton (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|13||Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)|
|15||Mikhail Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|16||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|19||James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|22||Jay Howard (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|24||Oriol Servia (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|25||Harvey Jack (Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport)|
|31||Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|32||Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing)|