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Carpenter nails fastest qualifying speed at Indy

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 18th May, 2014 - 8:39am

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Ed Carpenter fastest in provisional qualifying

Ed Carpenter fastest in provisional qualifying

Ed Carpenter has claimed the provisional fastest average lap speed on the opening day of the new Indianapolis qualifying format.

Carpenter turned a four-lap average of 230.661mph (371.21km/h) and will lead the top nine fastest drivers for a shot at the pole position tomorrow for the Indy 500 on May 25.

The 2013 Indy 500 polesitter’s #20 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet edged out Carlos Munoz (#34 Honda) who clocked an average of 230.460 (370.89).

Three-times Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) was third fastest with a 230.432 (370.84) as the top nine all surpassed the 230mph mark.

James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport), who at one stage held the top speed, was fourth ahead of Will Power (Team Penske).

“It’s stressful qualifying here and the less you have to do it the better,” Carpenter said.

“I think we have a good chance for the pole, but the field is very tight this year.

“There are so many good cars and drivers out there. It will come down on who gets it right on the day for the pole. It really comes down to being perfect for four laps.”

It was not such a good session for Ryan Hunter-Reay who found himself precariously on the bubble in ninth before being bumped by Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) eighth quickest.

Hunter-Reay went for a final run in the dying stages but could only manage 11th.

“We made the wrong call there,” Hunter-Reay said.

“We changed gearing, changed a bunch of stuff.

“Frustrating. We were in the top nine for most of the day.”

James Davison

James Davison

Aussie Ryan Briscoe was one of many drivers to withdraw their earlier times in order to launch another attempt immediately but could only manage 17th best.

Briscoe’s Chip Ganassi team-mate Scott Dixon squeezed out the 15th best four-lap pace while another Ganassi runner and defending Indy 500 champion, Tony Kanaan, will start from 23rd after making four separate four-lap runs.

Rookie James Davison did a superb job in the nerve-wracking qualifying format initially banking an average good enough for 32nd before withdrawing his time just before the gun was fired to close qualifying.

It enabled Davison to squeeze in the final qualifying run of the day with his KV Racing squad helping him improve his position to 28th with an average speed of 228.150, just behind the 1995 race winner Jacques Villeneuve.

Pole day tomorrow will see positions 1-9 run for the coveted Verizon P1 award while 10-33 will also have one attempt to nail down their final starting position.

See below for provisional qualifying based on a four-lap average speed

1

Ed Carpenter

230.661mph

2

Carlos Munoz

230.460

3

Helio Castroneves

230.432

4

James Hinchcliffe

230.407

5

Will Power

230.323

6

Marco Andretti

230.134

7

Simon Pagenaud

230.070

8

Josef Newgarden

230.033

9

JR Hildebrand

230.027

10

Kurt Busch

229.960

11

Ryan Hunter-Reay

229.899

12

Jack Hawksworth

229.816

13

Juan Pablo Montoya

229.785

14

Justin Wilson

229.618

15

Scott Dixon

229.283

16

Mikhail Aleshin

229.091

17

Ryan Briscoe

228.825

18

Takuma Sato

228.786

19

Charlie Kimball

228.710

20

Graham Rahal

228.664

21

Sage Karam

228.650

22

Townsend Bell

228.508

23

Tony Kanaan

228.435

24

Sebastien Bourdais

228.388

25

Pippa Mann

228.358

26

Sebastian Saavedra

228.294

27

Jacques Villeneuve

228.171

28

James Davison

228.150

29

Oriol Servia

228.034

30

Carlos Huertas

227.991

31

Alex Tagliani

227.813

32

Martin Plowman

227.043

33

Buddy Lazier

226.543

 

 

VIDEO: Highlights from the day

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