In the words of BOB JENKINS, voice of IMS Radio/Public Address, “It’s Precipitating”. That happened Friday afternoon close to 4 PM EDT at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Friday Indy Racing League Indianapolis 500 practice session. After a few more reports of light moisture and then rain, the caution flag flew. Half an hour or so later the course went green, but by then most cars were back in the garage. Very few ventured out after that. Good thing. Shortly thereafter, more moisture. Another half hour or so and green again. At this point only one or two cars were having a go.
At 3:45 PM Firestone engineers showed the ambient temperature at 69F/21C and track temperature of 76F/24C. The warmest was at 2:15 PM when it was 70F ambient and 86 on track. The winds got up to 7 mph at one point.
The time set earlier by RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 Team Penske of 225.981 mph/39.8263 held all day. It also was the fastest overall time of the week. He set it on Lap 10 of his 23 laps run. Teammate HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 maintained his second place Friday position on the chart, at 225.438 mph/39.9223. That also was set on his tenth lap of 27 run. However, MARCO ANDRETTI/No.26 Andretti Green Racing was second fastest overall for the week, at 225.478 mph/39.8263.
The drivers all ran an updated Firestone tire spec featuring a new compound formula at all four tire positions, as well as a slight change to the right front tire construction to assist in reducing understeer. Firestone said the feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
All 31 drivers were on course Friday afternoon in 34 cars. Doornbos turned six laps in his backup car. Briscoe continued the ‘shake down’ of the No.12 Team Penske car of WILL POWER, his teammate for the Indy 500. TONY KANAAN of Andretti Green ran his No.11 car as well as running five laps in the No.26 car of Andretti.
Rookie RAPHAEL MATOS/No.2 US Air Force Luczo Dragon continues to be the busiest driver, with 205 laps for Friday.
Saturday’s IMS schedule calls for Indy 500 practice 9 – 11 am EDT, and qualifying from noon to 6 PM EDT.