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Jean Alesi qualifies for Indianapolis 500 as Bump Day fills grid

Jean Alesi, Fan Force, Indianapolis 2012Jean Alesi will be on the grid for this weekend's Indianapolis 500 after formally qualifying for the race on Bump Day.

Both Alesi (Fan Force United) and fellow Lotus-powered runner Simona de Silvestro (HVM) made the field after completing the formalities of Bump Day qualifying, which is reserved for the cars that missed out on the top 24 places on the previous qualifying day. Had any late entries arrived to challenge for one of the 33 places, the Lotuses could potentially have been knocked out of the event.

"Now I can breathe," said Alesi. "It's a big relief for me to finally get into this race. I have wanted to do this race ever since I was young.

"Of course, I am disappointed because I don't have the car I thought I would have, but it was all we could get, and we took it. It's frustrating to not have the same speed as the others. I am a professional, I have passion inside of me. I want to do the maximum that I can, with the car that I have."

Alesi will start from the rear of the grid after posting the slowest time of the day; the former Formula 1 star finishing up with an average speed almost 17mph slower than that of polesitter Ryan Briscoe.

Quickest of the Bump Day runners was Dragon's Sebastien Bourdais, whose team switched from Lotus to Chevrolet power last week.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                      Speed
 1.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske DW12-Chevy             226.484
 2.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti DW12-Chevy           226.481
 3.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti DW12-Chevy           226.240
 4.  Marco Andretti       Andretti DW12-Chevy           225.456
 5.  Will Power           Penske DW12-Chevy             225.422
 6.  Helio Castroneves    Penske DW12-Chevy             225.172
 7.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher DW12-Honda             224.037
 8.  Tony Kanaan          KV DW12-Chevy                 224.751
 9.  EJ Viso              KV DW12-Chevy                 224.422
10.  Rubens Barrichello   KV DW12-Chevy                 224.264
11.  Alex Tagliani        Herta DW12-Honda              224.000
12.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.959
13.  Ana Beatriz          Andretti/Conquest DW12-Chevy  223.920
14.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.868
15.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.684
16.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi DW12-Honda            223.582
17.  James Jakes          Dale Coyne DW12-Honda         223.482
18.  JR Hildebrand        Panther DW12-Chevy            223.422
19.  Takuma Sato          Rahal DW12-Honda              223.392
20.  Townsend Bell        Schmidt DW12-Honda            223.134
21.  Justin Wilson        Dale Coyne DW12-Honda         222.929
22.  Michel Jourdain Jr   Rahal DW12-Honda              222.893
23.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt DW12-Honda            222.891
24.  Sebastian Saavedra   AFS/Andretti DW12-Chevy       222.811
25.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon DW12-Chevy             223.760
26.  Wade Cunningham      Foyt DW12-Honda               223.258
27.  Oriol Servia         Panther/DRR DW12-Chevy        222.393
28.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter DW12-Chevy          222.324
29.  Mike Conway          Foyt DW12-Honda               222.319
30.  Katherine Legge      Dragon DW12-Chevy             221.624
31.  Bryan Clauson        Fisher DW12-Chevy             214.455
32.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM DW12-Lotus                214.393
33.  Jean Alesi           Fan Force DW12-Lotus          210.094
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