Indy 500: Harvey heads final practice, Penske struggles continue

The final practice before qualifying for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 saw Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing go fastest in the four-lap simulation runs as Team Penske’s struggles for pace continued.

Indy 500: Harvey heads final practice, Penske struggles continue

Just nine cars took part in the session which allowed drivers to test their overnight changes before today’s qualifying runs, although with the ideal ambient temperatures, conditions were far more favourable than many drivers expect to encounter this afternoon.

Harvey topped the speeds with a 230.232mph average over four laps, ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato on 229.983mph.

Rookie Scott McLaughlin ran a 229.682mph average to finish as top Penske ahead of team-mate Simon Pagenaud who completed two runs, as did the Andretti Autosports of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. However, Will Power and Josef Newgarden were some 1mph off Harvey’s average.

Nonetheless Power told Peacock TV that his car’s handling had been vastly improved, and said if he qualified in the top 15 this afternoon it will have been a good day, as he feels he can race from there and has a strong race set-up.

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Qualifying will begin at 12pm local time with all drivers beginning their first run in the order below. After all 35 entrants have made their first runs – which will take a total of approximately three hours, barring yellow-flags – cars can make an unlimited number of runs thereafter.

Those entries wishing to take advantage of this opportunity can join one of two lines. The fast line takes priority but obliges the entry to withdraw his or her current four-lap average. Getting to the track via the slow lane allows an entry to retain his or her existing speed.

When the gun goes off at 5.50pm local time this afternoon, grid positions 10 through 30 will be locked in place.

The top nine will progress to the Fast Nine shootout – just one four-lap run per car – on Sunday starting at 3pm local time, while the bottom five from qualifying today will be consigned to the Last Chance Qualifying shootout on Sunday at 1.15pm local time for the three slots on the last row of the grid. An entry’s number of runs in this session is confined only by time.

Following last night’s draw for qualifying, cars will make their initial runs in the following order:

1

9

Scott Dixon

Honda

2

98

Marco Andretti

Honda

3

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Honda

4

06

Helio Castroneves

Honda

5

18

Ed Jones

Honda

6

29

James Hinchcliffe

Honda

7

25

Stefan Wilson

Honda

8

48

Tony Kanaan

Honda

9

2

Josef Newgarden

Chevy

10

21

Rinus VeeKay

Chevy

11

3

Scott McLaughlin

Chevy

12

30

Takuma Sato

Honda

13

45

Santino Ferrucci

Honda

14

24

Sage Karam

Chevy

15

51

Pietro Fittipaldi

Honda

16

86

Juan Pablo Montoya

Chevy

17

1

JR Hildebrand

Chevy

18

12

Will Power

Chevy

19

20

Ed Carpenter

Chevy

20

5

Pato O’Ward

Chevy

21

7

Felix Rosenqvist

Chevy

22

59

Max Chilton

Chevy

23

4

Dalton Kellett

Chevy

24

47

Conor Daly

Chevy

25

15

Grahal Rahal

Honda

26

60

Jack Harvey

Honda

27

75

RC Enerson

Chevy

28

10

Alex Palou

Honda

29

22

Simon Pagenaud

Chevy

30

26

Colton Herta

Honda

31

27

Alexander Rossi

Honda

32

8

Marcus Ericsson

Honda

33

16

Simon De Silvestro

Chevy

34

11

Charlie Kimball

Chevy

35

14

Sebastien Bourdais

Chevy

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