The rain falling on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course turned out to be the great equalizer and interest as Sebastian Saavedra scored his first ever Verizon P1 Award in his 42nd career Verizon IndyCar Series start.
“I love the rain. It was crazy at first because we didn’t know what to expect from the track – if it was going to be wet, if it was going to be dry,” Saavedra commented. “We were comfortable yesterday, as it got hotter, we just needed to work a little bit more – especially with the rain. We made a huge leap this morning and then the whole session was just weird. It started to rain and went from wet, to dry, to super dry, to super wet. I loved it.”
The Colombian will be joined on the front row by rookie Jack Hawksworth, as Hawksworth looks towards his fourth IndyCar series career start. Hawksworth. In four IndyCar starts, Hawksworth has been in the Firestone Fast Six twice.
“To be honest, I’m working very well with the team,” he commented. “They’re giving me what I want. I think I’m able to kind of lead them in the right direction with the car, as well. I’m not too worried about not having a teammate. I kind of like it. Really looking forward to the rest of the season with them. We started the season out quite strong. There’s been glimmers of speed and potential. Not all quite there yet, but hopefully tomorrow is the day when we do to.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay posted the quickest time during the session, however spun in turn one and backed the truck into the wall to bring out the red flag. As a result, Hunter-Reay has his fastest two laps dropped and will start third. Hunter-Reay damaged the back of his Dallara, but feels that the team will easily get it repaired.
“We definitely gave that one away,” he commented. “It’s a fun track. Since we got here it’s been dry-wet-dry-wet. It was changing conditions and it was a lot of fun, but it ended the wrong way, so congrats to Saavedra – good job and good pace. It’s going to be a really great championship race (tomorrow) and there will be a lot of passing – especially with these long straights. There will be a lot of different strategies on downforce and tires. I think there will be a lot of (teams) mixing it up like you always do with the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
Simon Pagenaud continued showing the speed that he has had all year so far, qualifying fourth, with Will Power and Scott Dixon rounding out the Firestone Fast Six. Dixon was fastest in yesterday’s practice.
The Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis is scheduled for 3:50 p.m. local time.
1. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 01:23.8822 (104.675)
2. (98) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 01:24.0788 (104.431)
3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 01:24.8882 (103.435)
4. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:25.2881 (102.950)
5. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:25.5216 (102.669)
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 01:25.6548 (102.509)
7. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.5187 (103.887)
8. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.6209 (103.762)
9. (10) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.7099 (103.653)
10. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:24.8839 (103.440)
11. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 01:25.1318 (103.139)
12. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:25.4748 (102.725)
13. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.2488 (124.990)
14. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.2261 (125.030)
15. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.3601 (124.792)
16. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.2804 (124.934)
17. (18) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4264 (124.675)
18. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4141 (124.697)
19. (34) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5097 (124.528)
20. (41) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.4591 (124.617)
21. (26) Franck Montagny, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5571 (124.444)
22. (16) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 01:10.5996 (124.369)
23. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.6413 (124.296)
24. (20) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 01:10.6535 (124.274)
25. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 01:11.2704 (123.198)