Long Delay for Track Changes Limit Track Time, IndyCar Qualifications Held Tomorrow
BALTIMORE, Maryland (August 31, 2012) – Panther Racing and driver JR Hildebrand returned to the streets of Baltimore for Friday practice for the Baltimore Grand Prix and ended the day 17th quickest, with a fast time of 1:22.6031 and an average speed of 88.907 mph. The morning practice session was first red-flagged and then cut short due to concern about the large bump the railroad tracks created on the front straight away after Simon Pagenaud’s car went airborne in the opening laps of practice.
After a chicane was created to slow the cars on the straight away over the tracks, IndyCar practice resumed Friday afternoon where Hildebrand and the Panther team ran a total of 19 laps. The team worked throughout Friday practice to find grip on the bumpy course and are optimistic about qualifying tomorrow.
In last year’s inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix Hildebrand and Panther finished 19th after qualifying 17th when an extended caution period and an incident where Hildebrand touched the tire barrier in Turn One.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet: “It was a little bit of a hectic first day, but you know we got a little bit of time out on the track and there was a lot of traffic. I think we could probably find four or five tenths just by putting a lap together. But in general the car feels really good. The track is definitely rough; to me it seems rougher than last year. Half the track has been repaved so that part is really smooth, but the other half is super rough. That will definitely be something that we have to continue to keep an eye on as we move forward because with the engines being under a little higher stress that could raise some issues with performance. They’ve got some fixes to make over night with the race track but we’ll come back with guns blazing tomorrow.”
Source: Panther Racing