On a warm sunny day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a day that finally felt the way May should feel, Scott Dixon led Indianapolis 500 practice. His 226.829 mph lap was the best of the week. Ed Carpenter Racing teammates Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter followed Dixon. Daly was just 0.0801 seconds behind Dixon.
Dixon’s Chip Ganassi racing teammates, Marcu Ericsson, Tony Kanaan, and Alex Palou, also finished the day in the top 10. Ericsson was fourth, Kanaan, fifth, and Palou eighth. The third Ed Carpenter car of Rinus VeeKay just missed the top 10 with an 11th place result for today’s session. The carpenter and Ganassi teams have been the strongest overall for the first two days of practice. Nineteen drivers turned more than 100 laps each.
The results for May 19, Practice Day 2::
Enerson Plays Beat the Clock
R C Enerson could not complete his rookie test yesterday because of a broken half shaft. Indycar allowed him to use the hour before practice began to complete the 20 laps he needed. Enerson need five laps at a speed between 210 and 215 mph, then 15 laps at 215 or better. He got through the five laps, but getting the fifteen above 215 was a struggle. When the hour was up, eberson was one lap short. Officials gave his Top Gun racing team a little more time to complete the lap. at 12:07 pm, Enerson passed his rookie test.
35 cars are now eligible to attempt to qualify for the 33 spots in the field on Saturday. Top Gun did not return to the track, but should be out tomorrow.
Shopping on Camera
After a leisurely lunch at one of Chez IMS’s splendid picnic tables, I noticed this small structure, the Indy Express Shop powered by Verizon. It is a merchandise and snack shop that I fear might become the norm. It is shopping with Big Brother.
To enter, you must download the Indy Express shop app and scan a reader at the door. Once inside, choose your items and leave. Cameras in the ceiling somehow bill your account. I find this a creepy concept. I guess the only good thing about it is the staff is not rude.
Top Gun Racing may be on the brink of entering the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. The second year team, with R C Enerson driving, tested the number 75 Chevy powered car at World wide technology raceway on Monday. There has been no formal announcement of an entry. There was speculation as to whether the team would get an engine lease. The car would be the 36th entry in the 500, meaning three cars will not make the race.
I hope they keep the Johnny Lightning tribute livery.
Boles Gives Some Clarity on Fan Attendance
Last night on Trackside Doug Boles answered fan questions about attending events at IMS this month. I have received a lot of questions from readers about policies. Boles addressed many of their concerns. A summary of some of the major points he covered:
The infield is open; the spectator mounds are closed. Th area behind the pagoda is open. Fans may enter the infield via one of the two tunnels underneath the the front stretch.
Proof of vaccination is not required to enter IMS, but it is required for badge holders who wish to visit the garage area, Boles did not mention a limit on the number of fans who could be in Gasoline Alley at one time.
Tickets may be purchased at the entry gates for practice and qualifying. Tickets may be purchased at a will call trailer for the GMR Grand Prix on race day.
There is no grid walk for the GP.
There is no Monday practice the day after qualifying and no pit access for Bronze Badge holders. Boles hopes to have a practice day where badge holders can have pit access in the future.
Fans may watch practice from the Tower terrace seats.
Cooler limits are the same as they have always been- 14″ x14″.
The pre race for the 500 will celebrate the life of Bobby Unser and Takuma sato will receive recognition for winning the 2020 race.
Vaccinations are available across from Gate 2 and also inside the track at first aid station at gates 1, 6, and 9.
I am anticipating a heavy news day with possibly the entry list for the 500 coming out this afternoon. I will be back later today with more up dates.
Former Indycar champion Alex Zanardi underwent a 2 1/2 hour brain surgery yesterday. The operation was anticipated by his medical team. Zanardi suffered facial and neurological trauma in a hand bike crash during a race in Italy June 20. He remains in a medically induced coma.
The doctors say he is stable metabolically and from a cardio-respiratory standpoint, but his neurological condition is described as “grave.”
Zanardi was expected to awake from the coma this week. I believe another update will come today.
Top Gun, Enerson Will Wait Until Next Year
Top Gun Racing has tabled their debut in the NTT Indycar Series until 2021. The team owned by Gary trout and Bill Throckmorton, planned to field a car for R C Enerson in the 2020 Indianapolis 500. Top Gun participated in the Indycar irace at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway early this spring.
The team will use the postponed entry to acquire assets to start next year. The announcement removes one possible entry from the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 August 23.
The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly changed the way things happen. In a reverse twist, Top Gun Racing and R C Enerson will attempt to qualify for the Indycar iRacing Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Qualifying for Saturday’s 175 mile race is today. The team does not have one of the guaranteed spots.
Top Gun Racing hopes to use the virtual race effort to solidify their plans to join the NTT Indycar Series when the 2020 racing season actually starts. The team principals are Gary Trout and Bill Throckmorton with support from Hagerty Insurance. The car will carry number 99.
Enerson is a capable driver and will help the team. They have not come to to terms with an engine supplier. The team will operate out of a shop in Brownsburg, Indiana.
It’s nice to see that a new team is in the works in these uncertain times. It will be nicer when we can actually start the season.
I’ll be back later with some thoughts on fans attending races this year.