Power fastest as Simona crashes big

Will Power with team owner Roger Penske at Indianapolis

Will Power with team owner Roger Penske at Indianapolis

Will Power will enter qualifying weekend for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 as the pace-setter after a rain -hampered week of practice.

The Team Penske driver ran a total of 117 laps across the six practice sessions yesterday, setting a fastest speed of 227.79mph.

Power unseated Alex Tagliani (Sam Schmidt Motorsport) from the top spot with just six minutes of the day remaining, while Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves made it three Penske entries in the top four.

Having admitted that his final lap was assisted by a tow, Power says that he’ll spend the first part of Pole Day focussing on race set-up.

“Early on we’ll be working on race stuff, and then we’ll start trimming out for qualifying,” said Power.

“We’ll be working on the car. I think it’s pretty important to focus on the race.

“You could spend a lot of time screwing around with qualifying things, and then it’ll be different conditions the next day.

“We have to have a good car in the race. That’s what we’ll be focusing on.”

Townsend Bell (Herbalife Schmidt Pelfrey Racing), JR Hildebrand (National Guard Panther Racing), Oriol Servia (Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing), Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), Ed Carpenter (Sarah Fisher Racing) and Danica Patrick (Andretti Autosports) rounded out the top 10.

HVM driver Simona de Silvestro endured the first big crash of the pre-race build-up, with a mechanical failure in Turn 3 sending the Swiss backwards into the outside wall.

De Silvestro suffered second-degree burns on the back of her right hand and superficial burns on her left hand in the crash, which saw the car catch fire as it slid along the track upside-down.

The 22-year-old will meet medical staff today to decide on her further participation in the event.

See below for vision of the incident

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