Ed Carpenter surprised many by topping the first day of qualifying for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, with the popular American one of the last to run on Saturday.
Qualifying was delayed due to inclement weather at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which meant drivers only had one shot at putting together a qualifying run, with the top nine on Saturday advancing to the shootout for pole position on Sunday.
Carpenter, running for his own Ed Carpenter Racing squad, set a four-lap average of 230.468mph to top the session, with the #20 Chevrolet-powered Dallara pipping Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato to top spot.
Sato set a four-lap average of 230.382mph to finish ahead of Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, who ran early and set an average of 230.333mph with the second Ed Carpenter Racing machine of JR Hildebrand fourth fastest, the American being the penultimate driver on track and setting an average of 230.205mph.
Defending Indy 500 champion Alexander Rossi also advanced, setting the fifth fastest time for Andretti Herta Autosport, just ahead of the sole Team Penske representative to make it through, Will Power.
McLaren Honda Andretti’s Fernando Alonso was the only rookie to make it through to the shootout, with the Spaniard setting a four-lap average of 230.034mph, while Tony Kanaan of Chip Ganassi Racing and Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport also made it through.
Just missing out was Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones, who ran early and set a four-lap average of 229.717mph and only failed to advance thanks to Hildebrand’s run, with Charlie Kimball eleventh ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Max Chilton.
Supposed big guns Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Mikhail Aleshin, Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden, Juan Pablo Montoya, James Hinchcliffe and Simon Pagenaud all failed to advance and will be competing for positions ten through thirty three on Sunday.
There was one major incident during the session when Sebastien Bourdais crashed at turn two whilst on course to set the best time of anyone, his first two laps were in excess of 231mph, but the Frenchman ended up being taken to the Methodist Hospital for checks, although he was awake and alert just after the crash that saw the Dale Coyne Racing driver roll.
Qualifying resumes on Sunday, with the top nine gunning for pole position late in the day, with positions 10 through 33 to be decided in the afternoon.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Qualifying 1 Result
|1||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||230.468mph|
|2||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||230.382mph|
|3||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||230.333mph|
|4||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||230.205mph|
|5||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||230.148mph|
|6||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||230.072mph|
|7||29||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren Honda Andretti||230.034mph|
|8||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||230.007mph|
|9||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||229.924mph|
|10||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||229.717mph|
|11||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||229.713mph|
|12||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||229.636mph|
|13||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||229.533mph|
|14||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||229.390mph|
|15||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||229.217mph|
|16||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||228.835mph|
|17||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||228.696mph|
|18||22||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||228.645mph|
|19||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||228.557mph|
|20||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||228.393mph|
|21||24||Sage Karam||USA||Dreyer & Reinbold Racing||227.943mph|
|22||77||Jay Howard||GBR||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||227.853mph|
|23||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||227.438mph|
|24||16||Oriol Servia||ESP||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||227.150mph|
|25||50||Jack Harvey||GBR||Michael Shank Racing with Andretti Autosport||226.894mph|
|26||88||Gabby Chaves||USA||Harding Racing||226.875mph|
|27||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||225.912mph|
|28||17||Sebastian Saavedra||COL||Juncos Racing||225.815mph|
|29||11||Spencer Pigot||USA||Juncos Racing||223.631mph|
|30||44||Buddy Lazier||USA||Lazier Partners Racing||221.427mph|
|31||63||Pippa Mann||GBR||Dale Coyne Racing||219.282mph|
|32||18||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing||No Time|
|-||40||Zach Veach||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||No Time|