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IndyCar Indy 500

Ilott to change chassis for Indy 500 as new car “just wasn’t safe”

Juncos Hollinger Racing is making an emergency switch of chassis for Callum Ilott after a disastrous practice so far at the Indianapolis 500.

Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Ilott was stranded at the bottom of the charts on the third day of running at Indy, prompting team chief Ricardo Juncos to make the decision to park the brand-new Dallara-Chevrolet that was built up especially for the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway course.

Ilott was the slowest of the 34 cars on Wednesday, and 32nd on Thursday. The Briton only ran seven laps today, with a fastest speed of 228.942mph, which was some 6mph off the leading pace.

“We have to do it because clearly there is something wrong with the actual chassis, that’s what we believe,” Juncos told NBC Peacock. “After doing our best all through the week, it’s actually not safe the way it is now, so we always put safety first for our drivers.

“We brought this one, a brand-new car, with zero mileage but, unfortunately, something is wrong with it and we have to change it because it has not run good all week. The car we are going to switch to is one we used in the open test here in April, and it’s been running without problem there.”

Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet

Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevrolet

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Juncos clarified that the car Ilott will switch to is his team-mate Augustin Canapino’s car from testing, and that the Argentinian’s own new car is operating as expected.

“This is the car that Canapino used in the open test, his Argentinian [national football team-liveried car] is a different one,” said Juncos. “It was actually very good, so this is the one we will now use for Callum.

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“It’s a very difficult situation but we had to pull the trigger at some point. It’s a very big challenge for the mechanics, and I want to thank them a lot, because it’s a lot of work now, and they have to check everything is fine. All the fine-tuning and set-up takes hours and hours, to make sure we qualify tomorrow.

“It’s not an ideal situation but the way it was just wasn’t safe, so we have to do it.”

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