Rain delays Indianapolis 500 qualifying, more trouble for Alonso

The six drivers fighting to get onto the Indianapolis 500 grid got only 20 minutes of practice on Sunday morning before rain, and Fernando Alonso had a major set-up issue

Rain delays Indianapolis 500 qualifying, more trouble for Alonso

Alonso and McLaren were only 31st fastest in Saturday's first qualifying session, leaving them up against Max Chilton and Patricio O'Ward from the affiliated Carlin team, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport's James Hinchcliffe, Dreyer & Reinbold driver Sage Karam and Juncos Racing's Kyle Kaiser for the final three spots available on the grid.

This group was due to get one hour of practice on Sunday morning ahead of their single-run 'Bump Day' qualifying battle.

When Alonso hit the track, the #66 McLaren Dallara-Chevrolet appeared to be running much too low, striking sparks and smoke as it bottomed out on the track.

He was called in for adjustments and the friction appeared reduced but not cleared when he rejoined, so he pitted again for further changes.

While remedial work started, the rain started falling hard enough to halt the session and then increased to the point that it was abandoned.

The rain briefly stopped but has now returned, meaning the rest of the Sunday schedule is up in the air.

IndyCar originally intended for the nine drivers taking part in the pole shootout to get 30 minutes of practice before the two qualifying sessions. The last row contenders will not get any more practice.

If it proves impossible to run on Sunday, the last row session will be held on Monday instead.

The 'Fast Nine' pole shootout will be cancelled in that circumstance and the leading positions set on first qualifying speeds, which means Spencer Pigot would give Ed Carpenter Racing another Indy pole.

In the little running that took place, Hinchcliffe - using his spare car following his Saturday crash - and Karam completed mock qualification runs in the low-228mph/high-227mph range.

O'Ward was struggling in the 225mph region, and Chilton's three laps went from 227.4mph down to 226.1mph before he pitted due to his engine running too hot.

Kaiser did not participate.

Sunday morning practice times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Speed Laps
1 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 39.4521s - 228.125 12
2 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 39.4594s 0.0073s 228.083 7
3 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 39.5772s 0.1251s 227.404 11
4 Patricio O'Ward Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 39.8679s 0.4158s 225.746 9
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 40.9075s 1.4554s 220.009 6


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Fernando Alonso: Indy 500 failure to qualify could be 'deserved'

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Fernando Alonso and McLaren fail to qualify for Indianapolis 500

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author David Malsher
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