Rookies sail through Orientation process at Indy

James Hinchcliffe giving some last minute tips to his Andretti Autosport team-mate Carlos Munoz

James Hinchcliffe giving some last minute tips to his Andretti Autosport team-mate Carlos Munoz

Tristan Vautier, AJ Allmendinger and Carlos Munoz have sailed through their Rookie Orientation Program on the opening day at Indianapolis.

The trio are now clear to proceed and join the more experienced drivers for practice leading up to the crucial Pole day qualifying on May 18.

Under the Rookie program IndyCar sets three specific speed phases that are dependent on weather and track conditions which include 10 laps at 200-205mph, 15 laps at 205-209mph and 15 laps at 210mph-plus.

Car control and consistency is also monitored during this process by Indy legends Arie Luyendyk and Johnny Unser.

“I went down the front straight the first time and turned in (to Turn 1) and my left foot started quivering over the brake pedal and I said, ‘No, no. You can’t do that,’ Allmendinger said, who is driving a third Team Penske Chevy.

“I’m used to doing that (in a Sprint Cup car) but you can’t do that in one of these (IndyCars).”

Conor Daly is expected to begin the process on May 13 in the #41 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing.

Daly was unavailable for the rookie test as he was racing in the GP3 Series races at Catalunya in Spain.

“It’s a busy weekend for me in Barcelona, but the INDYCAR guys have been really good to us in saying we can do it Monday,” Daly said.

“It’s unfortunate that I’ll miss the first two days but it’s still a lot of track time. I’m just excited to get to work.”

Ten veterans turned laps with Josef Newgarden in the #21 Century 21 backup car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing getting out early and recording 27 laps with a best speed of 220.263 mph.

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