Herbert must forego Indy qualifying attempt. Indianapolis,IN (May 19) Unable to secure a private aircraft with sufficient range and speed to allow an Indy/Sears Point 'double,' three-time Formula 1 GP winner Johnny Herbert will be absent from...
Herbert must forego Indy qualifying attempt.
Indianapolis,IN (May 19) Unable to secure a private aircraft with sufficient range and speed to allow an Indy/Sears Point 'double,' three-time Formula 1 GP winner Johnny Herbert will be absent from today's final round of qualifying for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Herbert had hoped to qualify the Western Union Speed Team entry on the first qualification weekend at Indy to avoid conflict with his commitment to drive for the Champion Audi team in the American Le Mans Series(ALMS) event at Sonoma, CA, also scheduled for today.
With qualifying at the Brickyard not scheduled to start until 12-noon EST and the race at Sears Point slated to begin at 1 p.m. PT, the four hour maximum track-to-track time frame for Herbert to travel from Indianapolis to northern California became prohibitive.
"I'm tremendously disappointed not to have the opportunity to put the Western Union Speed Team car on the starting grid for this year's Indy 500," stated Herbert. "It's been a lifelong ambition to compete at Indy and when I finally get here I'm faced with about the only obstacle that could prevent me from achieving my goal. Unfortunately, the time frame available to accomplish both feats is just too tight to make work," he added.
When persistent rain limited the team's preparation and prevented a Pole Day qualifying attempt, then completely washed out day two qualifying on May 12th, the worst-case scenario became bitter reality for the affable Brit.
The championship Herbert is pursuing in ALMS, however, is well within his grasp and his multi-race contract with Champion does take precedent over his Indy-only agreement.
At the time of this press release, the Western Union Speed Team is in discussions with various drivers and will move forward toward qualifying for the upcoming Indianapolis 500.