Hinchcliffe rules out Indy 500 start
James Hinchcliffe has ruled out taking over another car to start this year’s Indianapolis 500 after missing the cut on Bump Day.
Hinchcliffe produced the shock of the fortnight to date by not making the top 33 on the first day of qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver set an uncompetitive speed (224.784mph, 361.755km/h) on his first four-lap run, immediately after a rain delay, and gave up on his second attempt due to a tyre vibration which was later traced back to a broken pressure sensor.
He ran out of time for a third run as Pippa Mann attempted to get herself back into the top 33.
Hinchcliffe remained a theoretical chance of taking the start of IndyCar’s biggest race given that the car and rather than the driver qualifies.
Despite speculation that a seat might be bought for the man who qualified on pole for the Indianapolis 500 only two years ago, Hinchcliffe has now stated categorically that no such deal will take place.
“Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will not be racing in the Indy 500 this year,” the Canadian advised on social media.
“The decision was made to stop pursuing options to get us in the race.
“There really aren’t words to describe how missing this race feels.
“At the end of the day, we simply didn’t get the job done. No excuses. This is our reality and we will face it head on, we will use it as motivation and we will come back stronger.
“We have a great team, incredible partners and the best fans, all who have been so supportive through this. I’m sorry we can’t be on track for you Sunday, but we will be pushing hard for the wins in Detroit.
“I wish all 33 drivers a fast and safe race. I’ll be watching and cheering on my SPM teammates. See you in Detroit.”
IndyCar is next on track for Carb Day practice on Friday (Saturday 0100 AEST) before the race itself on Sunday (Monday 0219 AEST).
The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit is the following event on June 1-3.