POWER FOURTH FASTEST BUT CRASHES HARD AT INDIANAPOLIS Australian driver Will Power has experienced a day of extremes on the final day of official practice for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana today. Power...
POWER FOURTH FASTEST BUT CRASHES HARD AT INDIANAPOLIS
Australian driver Will Power has experienced a day of extremes on the final day of official practice for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana today.
Power set the fourth fastest lap time of the day, but did not get a full day of running after spinning his #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone into the Turn One SAFER Barrier and heavily damaging the left side of the car.
Power was taken to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Care Centre for mandatory examination and was soon cleared and released by IndyCar Series Senior Director of Medical Services Dr Michael Olinger.
The 27-year-old suffered minor bruises to his knees and ankle, but is otherwise fine and is ready to get back into the car for tomorrow's Third Day qualifying.
Power was getting up to speed as he began his second stint on track for the day when a sudden gust of wind disturbed the aerodynamic balance of the Aussie Vineyards car, causing the rear end to become loose. The car spun 180 degrees and contacted the Turn One SAFER Barrier with left hand side of the car and came to a rest in Turn Two.
The Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia crew quickly began working on the damaged car back in the KV Racing Technology garage and the team is confident at getting the car back on track for Third Day qualifying tomorrow. The day will begin with one hour of practice, before all-important qualifying begins at midday US Eastern time. Power is first in line to make a four-lap qualifying attempt when Third Day qualifying commences tomorrow.
Despite today's setback Power will be one of the cars to watch in Third Day qualifying. For two consecutive days of Official Practice Power has been both the fastest rookie as well as the fastest driver yet to secure a starting spot in this year's Indy 500, which will be run at the famous 2.5-mile speedway on May 25.
Power was not the only driver to crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, with countryman Ryan Briscoe and rookie EJ Viso also sustaining significant damage after contact with the SAFER Barrier. Like Power, both drivers were checked and cleared of any injury.
Scott Dixon, polesitter for the 92nd Indianapolis 500, was fastest on the final day of Official Practice today ahead of two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, Briscoe and Power.
Third Day qualifying will be held tomorrow, followed by Bump Day qualifying, the final opportunity for drivers and teams to secure one of 33 starting positions in this year's Indy 500. Thirty-seven cars are participating in qualifying, meaning four driver-team combinations will miss this year's race.
WHAT THE TEAM HAD TO SAY --
Will Power - #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone
"There was a lot of blustery wind out there and I just got caught out," said Power.
"I wasn't even up to speed yet when the car came around, sending me into the wall.
"I am OK, I just have a few bumps and bruises on my knees and ankle. Other than that I feel fine.
"This is obviously a setback for the Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia team because of the track time we are going to lose, but I know the team will do what needs to be done and we will be ready to qualify tomorrow."
Craig Gore - Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia
"It's unfortunate that Will found trouble today but that's racing," said Gore.
"The Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia crew has been working hard all month and all season long. It will be a quite an effort to rebuild the car but they have proved time and time again that they are an outstanding crew and we are all confident that that car will be ready to go tomorrow morning.
"Will keeps showing that he is one of the rookies to watch this year and his time early today was very strong.
"The plan is to be one of the fastest cars in Third Day qualifying tomorrow to secure our first Indy 500 start. The crash makes things a little harder but I'm confident in both Will and the team's ability to come back from today and get the job done tomorrow."
-credit: kvt/team australia