RAPHAEL MATOS AND DAVEY HAMILTON PILOT DE FERRAN DRAGON CARS TO 12TH AND 14TH QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT 2010 INDY 500
Working together as teammates for de Ferran Dragon Racing for the first time, Raphael Matos and Davey Hamilton qualified 12th and 14th respectively for the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Matos posted a four-lap average of 225.028, missing the top 9 shootout for the pole position by just 0.138. Hamilton, the oldest driver in the field at 47, registered a 224.852 to grab 14th.
"We had a good qualifying run," Raphael Matos said. "Our target was high 224 or low 225 and we were able to achieve that. The conditions were extremely tricky today with the track temperatures and the wind. One end was very loose and the other corner had understeer. It was tough, but the team did a great job with the set up."
"I am content with our speed today," Hamilton said. "The balance was slightly off and I lost some speed going into turns one and three, but it was a solid run. I thought the car could do a 225, but that wouldn't have put us in the top nine so I'm happy."
For the second consecutive season, Matos will start 12th in the Indy 500. Hamilton, making his 10th appearance, improved to 14th after starting 22nd a year ago. It's his best starting position in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" since qualifying 11th in 1999.
Even though both cars narrowly missed the top 9 shootout, the team opted not to take a second run to battle for the pole.
"We had two solid runs and knew that we would be close to get into the top 9," de Ferran Dragon co-owner and president Gil de Ferran said. "The conditions were deteriorating as the day heated up and both Rafa and Davey felt it was not certain that we would be able to improve our times. In the end we took a conservative approach and that puts us in a solid position on race day."
-source: de ferran dragon racing