CASTRONEVES TURNS SECOND-FASTEST LAP TO LEAD TEAM PENSKE IN INDY 500 PRACTICE TUESDAY
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 15, 2012) – Team Penske utilized another day of great weather to turn up the heat Tuesday during its fastest and busiest practice session yet in preparation for the 96th Indianapolis 500.
After working primarily on race setups during the first three practice days, the team spent some time on qualifying runs Tuesday. The result was the team’s fastest laps so far around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with all three Penske drivers exceeding 220 mph.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves led the way with a lap of 222.025 mph in the in the No. 3 Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. That ranked second-fastest among the 30 drivers who practiced Tuesday around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
"The Shell Pennzoil car felt great today,” said Castroneves, who last won at Indy in 2009. “We worked some more on the race set up and towards the end we were able to get a good draft. (It’s) always good to put up a fast time and we will continue to work hard to get things where they need to be.”
IZOD IndyCar Series championship leader Will Power posted a fast lap of 221.169 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, as he turned a team-high 85 laps on the day. Power’s fast lap was the seventh-best of the session.
"The Verizon car was really good today,” said Power, who has earned wins at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Sao Paulo, Brazil this season. “We mostly worked on race setup and also got the chance to see what it's like running behind a bunch of cars. It was another day of collecting information and we feel good about where we are."
After posting the fastest time among the three Team Penske pilots on Monday, Ryan Briscoe was clocked at 220.094 mph in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet while completing 70 laps on Tuesday. Briscoe’s time on lap 53 was his fastest of the day and ranked him 14th overall.
"We had a good day in the IZOD car working on the race set up,” said Briscoe, the polewinner at Long Beach. “We were running in a lot of traffic out there maybe even busier than it normally would be in the race. I was getting a really good feel for what this car is going to handle like, come next Sunday, but until then we are going to keep on learning."
Practice resumes Wednesday as the teams prepare for Saturday’s Pole Day qualifying session. Team Penske will be gunning for its 17th pole position at Indianapolis when the cars take to the track beginning at 11 am ET.