Broken exhaust brings Mike Conway’s storming drive through the field at Mid Ohio to an end
London, UK – Monday 8th August
A broken exhaust clamp, which caused the car’s mechanical systems to malfunction, brought Mike Conway’s storming drive through the field at Mid Ohio to a premature end.
The British Indy Car driver had endured a difficult qualifying session on Saturday. Running in the top three for much of the first qualifying round, the Team @FollowAndretti driver struggled for grip later in the session and qualified in P17.
Conway made a solid start to Sunday’s race and maintained seventeenth position during the opening stages of the race. On lap 22 the track was put under full course caution and when the pitlane opened one lap later, Conway made his first stop of the afternoon and rejoined in P16. An incident at the restart on lap 27 forced Conway to take evasive action onto the grass and as a result saw him drop back to P23. Conway then began to steadily work his way back through the field. By lap 36 he was up to P15 and when the pit stop window opened on lap 54 he was running solidly in P11.
Lap 57 saw the second full course caution brought out and resulted in everyone taking their second pit stop. By the restart Conway was running in P9 and at the restart he was able to make up a further two places. Just one lap later Conway had moved up to sixth place and was looking good for a strong finish.
However, on lap 63 Conway suddenly found he was unable to change gears so brought his car into the pitlane. The team quickly realised that a broken exhaust had melted some of the wirings, including those that are used to select gears. Conway was forced to retire from the race.
“It’s been a day of mixed emotions. We had a tough qualifying session but the car was handling much better in free practice on Sunday morning so we were confident of making up some positions in the race. The incident on lap 27 pushed me back to P23 then I was able to get right up to P6 where we were running strongly and I was hopeful of some solid points;” commented Mike Conway.
“It's a real shame that we had a mechanical issue as the whole team had done such a great job and deserved a good result. Now we will look ahead to the next race at Loudon where we will hopefully carry today’s race pace with us and bring home a strong result;” continued Conway.