INTENSE DAY OF QUALIFYING FOR DREYER & REINBOLD RACING FOR THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
Indianapolis, IN - It was a day filled with ups and downs for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as they qualified for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Weather conditions had a huge part to play in the team's qualifying effort as two of the cars, Davey Hamilton (No. 11 HP) and Justin Wilson (No. 22 Z-Line Designs) qualified in the top-24. As for Paul Tracy (No. 23 WIX Filters) and Ana Beatriz (No. 24 Ipiranga), they unfortunately were bumped out right before the weather rolled in.
As the weather forecast predicted rain all day, in beginning there wasn't a cloud in the sky as the quartet practiced this morning. When qualifying finally rolled around the wind started to pick up and the weather conditions began to change, which as a result, impacted the qualifying attempts.
Davey Hamilton, pilot of the No. 11 HP machine, was the first to make his qualifying effort. Right out of the box, the Idaho native was quick as he earned an average lap time of 225.250 mph and claimed the 15th spot, making him the quickest of the four DRR drivers. Hamilton will be making his 11th start for this year's historic event.
Now we have a lot of work to do on the race setups.
Wilson, driver of the No. 22 Z-Line Designs machine was 49th in the qualifying order and managed to get one attempt in today as well. The Brit, who qualified 11th last year and led 11 laps of the race, recorded the 20th fastest average lap speed of 224.511 mph. This year will mark his 4th start for the Indianapolis 500.
Unfortunately, it was a different story for the team's other two drivers, Ana Beatriz and Paul Tracy. Both were able to make one attempt a piece. At first, it looked like they were going to be secured in the top-24, but that quickly changed. As the clock started to wind down, both drivers were bumped out. Tracy and Beatriz headed back out to pit lane to make another attempt, but the rain came in and washed away their hopes of securing a spot in today's top-24. Beatriz had a four lap average speed of 224.258 mph and Tracy had an average speed of 224.353 mph.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be on track tomorrow practicing their race set-ups and making more qualifying attempts for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. For more updates on the team, please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com.
What they have to say about the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500...
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "I think it has been a reasonable day for the Z-Line Designs team. I was hoping to go a little bit faster, but I think that the day was pretty slow in the middle. The air was pretty dense and it slowed us down, so the car was really stuck even though we were really trimmed out. We are happy with that. We want to go quicker. I think we have it in us if we have to and we will see what happens tomorrow. We will take it one step at a time."
Paul Tracy, No. 23 WIX Filters: "I really don't know what to say. I'm massively disappointed. We have been fast all week and inside the top-12. We went out to qualify and the car just didn't perform like it was supposed to perform and we don't know why that is. I'm frustrated. I had a feeling in my gut that the time wouldn't hold up by the end of the day and it didn't and we got bumped and 30 seconds after we got bumped it started to rain. It's not a good feeling. It's a feeling of revisiting 2010. We just have to come out tomorrow with everything that we have on the car, the best that we can possibly put on it and turn four fast laps. That's what it is going to take because there are a lot of really good cars that are still not in the field, but I think that we can do it and we will give it all that we have."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Ipiranga: "It's just a shame that we couldn't qualify. I think that we had a car to qualify today and we improved it so much from yesterday and this morning in practice we were really fast. We lost a lot of speed in the afternoon with the wind. We tried to re-set the car and make it faster, but unfortunately the rain came and we didn't have the chance to go back. It's just the way it is. If the rain comes there's not much we can do. We are focused for tomorrow and I think that we can make the show. We will improve in practice tomorrow and qualify the best that we can."
Davey Hamilton, No. 11 HP: "It was a great day, really. I came in to today thinking that if I'm in the top-16 that I was going to be happy and I'm 15th, so I can't complain. We were down on speed from where we thought we were going to be. Earlier this morning we ran a 225.7 mph, but I thought that I could back it up and maybe improve it, but when the wind came up it kept us in the low 25's. The HP car was great and I'm happy. The team did a good job and we are in the race. Now we have a lot of work to do on the race setups."