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Indianapolis 500: Simon Pagenaud fastest as rain limits running

Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt, Indianapolis 500 practice 2014

Poor weather continued to stifle practice for the Indianapolis 500, with rain severely limiting IndyCar track time on the fourth day of running on Wednesday.

Rain forced the start of the session to be delayed by five hours, and the appearance of additional showers early in the evening led to it being stopped after around an hour of running time. It follows a similarly rain-affected day on Tuesday.

Last weekend's IMS road course race winner Simon Pagenaud ended the day on top with a fastest average of 226.122mph, putting himself ahead of JR Hildebrand (225.854mph), Scott Dixon (225.494mph), Helio Castroneves (225.340mph) and Mikhail Aleshin (225.310mph).

Rookie Jack Hawksworth brought out the yellows with a crash at Turn 3, and while the Brit was unhurt, he said that he was at a loss to explain the cause of the accident.

"I have no idea what happened to be honest," said the BHA driver. "We just went into [Turn] 3 and it just snapped, so we'll have to look into it. Honestly, I wouldn't want to comment just yet because I have no idea. Suddenly it just snapped."

More Indy 500 practice shots in the AUTOSPORT news gallery

Thirty drivers capitalised on the small window of track time that was available, although Kurt Busch took advantage of the limited opportunity for practice by heading over to Charlotte to spend the day with his Stewart-Haas NASCAR team.

"Sometimes to just have a reset and have a day when we're not continuing to feed information, and just have a day to digest [is useful]," said Busch, who is attempting to become the fourth driver to complete the Indy 500/Charlotte 600 double.

"Once the track is good to go, we're going to have cooler conditions and it's going to be more ideal for qualifying trim anyway."

Alex Tagliani, who will drive a second Sarah Fisher Hartman entry, said that the loss of track time was more likely to hurt his preparations for qualifying than the race.

"The second day we were running, we went to try something and we didn't have time to try it," said the Canadian.

"The same thing happened yesterday [Tuesday] with the rain. Just before it started pouring down, we had made a massive change and were about to go try it and we didn't have time.

"I think we never extracted the full potential of the car, and we never got the car to the speed that it's capable of. It is what it is, but that's the challenge of the Speedway in the Month of May."

Pos  Driver              Team/Engine      Speed    Time      Gap        Laps
 1.  Simon Pagenaud      Schmidt/Honda    226.122  39.8016s             36
 2.  JR Hildebrand       Carpenter/Chevy  225.854  39.8488s  +0.0472s   31
 3.  Scott Dixon         Ganassi/Chevy    225.494  39.9123s  +0.1107s   49
 4.  Helio Castroneves   Penske/Chevy     225.340  39.9396s  +0.1380s   12
 5.  Mikhail Aleshin     Schmidt/Honda    225.310  39.9449s  +0.1433s   45
 6.  Ryan Briscoe        Ganassi/Chevy    225.276  39.9510s  +0.1494s   52
 7.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Penske/Chevy     225.134  39.9762s  +0.1746s   61
 8.  Ryan Hunter-Reay    Andretti/Honda   225.110  39.9804s  +0.1788s   41
 9.  Justin Wilson       Coyne/Honda      225.058  39.9897s  +0.1881s   31
10.  Josef Newgarden     Fisher/Honda     224.948  40.0093s  +0.2077s   41
11.  Tony Kanaan         Ganassi/Chevy    224.752  40.0442s  +0.2426s   30
12.  EJ Viso             Andretti/Honda   224.731  40.0478s  +0.2462s   55
13.  Charlie Kimball     Ganassi/Chevy    224.544  40.0812s  +0.2796s   42
14.  Ed Carpenter        Carpenter/Chevy  224.492  40.0905s  +0.2889s   21
15.  Alex Tagliani       Fisher/Honda     224.384  40.1099s  +0.3083s   30
16.  Marco Andretti      Andretti/Honda   224.370  40.1124s  +0.3108s   18
17.  Sebastien Bourdais  KV/Chevy         224.307  40.1236s  +0.3220s   47
18.  Jack Hawksworth     Herta/Honda      224.000  40.1786s  +0.3770s   28
19.  Pippa Mann          Coyne/Honda      223.984  40.1815s  +0.3799s   42
20.  Carlos Munoz        Andretti/Honda   223.754  40.2228s  +0.4212s   41
21.  Carlos Huertas      Coyne/Honda      223.651  40.2412s  +0.4396s   43
22.  Takuma Sato         Foyt/Honda       223.329  40.2993s  +0.4977s   59
23.  Sebastian Saavedra  KV/Chevy         223.181  40.3261s  +0.5245s   41
24.  Oriol Servia        Rahal/Honda      222.780  40.3986s  +0.5970s   33
25.  Graham Rahal        Rahal/Honda      222.152  40.5128s  +0.7112s   33
26.  Sage Karam          Ganassi/Chevy    222.096  40.5230s  +0.7214s   16
27.  Jacques Villeneuve  Schmidt/Honda    221.682  40.5987s  +0.7971s   32
28.  Martin Plowman      Foyt/Honda       221.013  40.7216s  +0.9200s   32
29.  Will Power          Penske/Chevy     175.729  51.2152s  +11.4136s  2

All drivers use Dallara chassis
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