Thursday, May 19, 2011

Indy 500 Practice Resumes: Power Fastest - Simona Crashes

Will Power set fast time today with one more practice day before Pole Day
Aussie Will Power knocked Canadian Alex Tagliani off the top spot of the speed charts today at Indy after two straight days of inactivity due to persistent and aggravating rain showers. The Penske boys showed their strength in Happy Hour today as Ryan Briscoe was third ahead of Helio Castroneves. The most surprising times of the day belonged to Townsend Bell and at one point Tagliani and Bell led a Sam Schmidt Motorsports 1-2 on the charts. Rookie JR Hildebrand was next followed by the consistent Oriol Servia, Target's Scott Dixon, Sarah Fisher Racing's Ed Carpenter and then Danica, who made her first appearance in the Top 10. Tony Kanaan and others are starting to pick up speed, with Paul Tracy getting his first significant track time of the week and looking quick. I have been most impressed with Panther and JR Hildebrand who has been in the Top 10 virtually every day, and Oriol Servia is doing a fantastic job for the Newman Haas team. He could be a darkhorse to win this thing, but I would't rule out former winners Dan Wheldon or Buddy Rice either.

40 cars got on track today and the first incident of the month occurred between Turns 3 and 4 in a very scary crash involving Simona DeSilvestro. Barely 30 minutes after practice opened today, Simona wrote off the HVM Racing machine after getting airborne when something broke on the car as she went through Turn 3. I had just gotten to the track and was walking up to pit lane when the track went yellow for her accident  and it took quite awhile to clean up the mess as the car got into the catch fencing and repairs had to be made. Thankfully, Simona was able to walk to the safety vehicle and reportedly suffered burns to her hands in the crash. Here's what was left of the car after it was brought back to the garage area.
Simona DiSilvestro's car on a flatbed after her accident today
The rains have finally ended after Tuesday and Wednesday at the Speedway were essentially total losses for track time. These washouts followed Sunday's lost day so today was the first full day of practice for the teams since Monday. Now there is one day to go before the Fast Nine competition which will determine the pole winner for this year's Indy 500 and Friday should be insanely busy for all the teams. I will be out again and until next time, please enjoy the following slideshow from today's action.

1 comment:

Gary Toepfer said...

Great job Jay!