Indianapolis 500: Tony Kanaan quickest on Carb Day
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, May 23rd 2014, 16:38 GMT|
Tony Kanaan led Scott Dixon to a Chip Ganassi Racing 1-2 on Carb Day, the final major practice session before the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
Kanaan, who won the Indy 500 last year, went to the top relatively early in the session with a 227.838mph average, and it remained good enough to keep him at the top until the end.
Dixon's benchmark, set even earlier, was just a fraction slower at 227.773mph.
"Lap times don't count today," said Kanaan. "But it's nice to be up there. I'm feeling good."
Dixon was similarly keen to downplay the importance of the result.
"The times are just how you place yourself [in the tow]," he said. "I think there are other cars capable of the same thing.
"Last year we did something similar and the cars were actually pretty horrible in the race, so hopefully that doesn't happen again ..."
Townsend Bell, driving one of the two additional entries added by KV Racing for the race, finished up third fastest ahead of three-time winner Helio Castroneves and rookie Mikhail Aleshin.
The morning was interrupted just once by a yellow flag, which was triggered mid-way through the session by an incident involving Ganassi rookie Sage Karam.
The teenager was caught out by a dramatic change in airflow over his front wing while closely following James Hinchcliffe and was flicked up into the wall at Turn 4.
Karam made a superb save, and somehow managed to escape anything worse than a glancing blow.
"This is one big learning experience - I'm learning every day that I'm in the car," Karam said. "It's much better that this happened today than in the race."
Fellow rookie James Davison's day was cut short by a mechanical problem. With the Australian's programme having only started last Thursday, it leaves him with relatively little track time in race trim.
"There was an issue with the starter mechanism," he said. "It would have been nice to have got those last 15 minutes in. The car as better than it was on Monday though, so that's a plus."
Kurt Busch returned from NASCAR qualifying at Charlotte on Thursday night to resume his Indy 500 preparations, the Andretti driver having his first run in the back-up car that he will use on Sunday following his earlier crash. He finished up 15th fastest.
"I had to get back on the horse," he said. "As the NASCAR guys say, I have to thank my crew.
"The Andretti guys had to take Marco Andretti's car, which he is going to run next week in Detroit, and convert it to oval-spec.
"That [session] was the happy-hour thrash, just a chance to get comfortable. I'd give myself a B overall."
Pos Driver Car Speed 1. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy 227.838mph 2. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy 227.773mph 3. Townsend Bell KV/Chevy 227.221mph 4. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 226.187mph 5. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda 226.045mph 6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda 225.810mph 7. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda 225.800mph 8. Alex Tagliani Fisher/Honda 225.598mph 9. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy 225.452mph 10. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 225.245mph 11. Will Power Penske/Chevy 225.212mph 12. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda 224.910mph 13. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 224.898mph 14. Buddy Lazier Lazier/Chevy 224.812mph 15. Kurt Busch Andretti/Honda 224.684mph 16. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy 224.585mph 17. JR Hildebrand Carpenter/Chevy 224.507mph 18. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 224.490mph 19. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda 224.263mph 20. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 224.209mph 21. Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 223.977mph 22. James Davison KV/Chevy 223.947mph 23. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 223.895mph 24. Oriol Servia Rahal/Honda 223.677mph 25. Pippa Mann Coyne/Honda 223.346mph 26. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy 223.224mph 27. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy 223.223mph 28. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda 223.220mph 29. Martin Plowman Foyt/Honda 223.127mph 30. Jacques Villeneuve Schmidt/Honda 223.123mph 31. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 222.400mph 32. Sage Karam Ganassi/Chevy 222.329mph 33. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy 222.190mph