'Horrible' domed skids skewing Indianapolis 500 order - Bobby Rahal

Leading IndyCar team boss Bobby Rahal believes the controversial domed skids have disrupted the Indianapolis 500 by making cars too unpredictable and inconsistent

'Horrible' domed skids skewing Indianapolis 500 order - Bobby Rahal

Honda teams such as 1986 Indy 500 winner Rahal's Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing outfit have vehemently criticised the mandatory titanium pieces added to cars' undersides for Indy this year to try to avert repeats of 2015's aerial accidents in practice.

Their Chevrolet counterparts have generally been in favour and accused Honda of making the domed skids a scapegoat for aerodynamic package deficiencies.

Though Chevrolet's domination has been halted at Indianapolis - where Honda teams led most of practice and topped day one of qualifying - Rahal remains frustrated.

"One day it is great and the next day it is horrible," said Rahal, whose son and lead driver Graham Rahal was only 21st in Saturday qualifying.

"I don't know what the hell is going on but something has to be done.

"I think this domed skid probably has a lot to do with it.

"You see some really good teams struggling.

"I think the domed skid is really making the cars inconsistent."

Rahal junior said Saturday's result had not come as a surprise.

"That's not what we hoped for but the car has been giving me these sorts of signs the last few days," he said.

"We went back out to try a different mechanical set-up. I think it was better but obviously still slow.

"We have got to look at why this thing is not pulling."

But while leading Chevrolet team Ganassi also struggled on Saturday - failing to get any of its four cars into the top nine pole shootout - its managing director Mike Hull refuted Rahal's suggestions.

Hull blamed winds that "made the track a chore" and believes too many teams took away too much mechanical downforce.

"We had speeds earlier in the week with the domed skids on," Hull said.

"I don't think the domed skid decided to change personalities on us.

"I just think the car is more difficult to drive."

Rahal was also critical of the 2016 Indy 500 qualifying format, under which Saturday's opening session simply decided which drivers made Sunday's nine-car pole shootout and which go into the preceding session to settle positions 10-33.

"I don't think they need to do this qualifying format in the first place and they really don't listen to the teams," Rahal sad.

"Look at Pippa Mann and Max Chilton crashing around here.

"If you only have 33 cars then why push it when [Sunday] is the day that matters?

"I know why they want to do it: to get the crowds here for both days. I get that.

"This is [a case of] 'what's the point in hanging it out?' - unless you know you are going to be in the top nine."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Graham Rahal
Author Bruce Martin
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