The ABC Supply team had mixed results today as practice heated up and speeds climbed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Takuma Sato was tenth quickest of the 33 drivers on track with the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda posting a speed of 223.6mph which was his quickest of the month.
“My day went well because we learned a lot, so again it was productive,” Sato said after logging 75 laps in practice. “There were a couple of things we needed to address but we learned the car performed well in race trim and qualifying trim, so that was good.”
However, rookie Conor Daly, who had been feeling the highs of racing at Indy the past three days, felt the sport’s lows today with his hard crash into the turn one wall in mid-afternoon. Fortunately the plucky young driver escaped injury and his car, which sustained extensive damage to its right side, is being repaired. Daly is expected to get back on track on tomorrow.
“These guys work so hard—I’m incredibly thankful for the continued opportunity that I have,” said Daly, who had posted his fastest lap of the week—220.7 mph-- earlier in the day. “I’m just glad that the car wasn’t as damaged as it might have looked flying through the air. I tried to save it and I would have saved it if we had about another 100 yards wider. But I know they’re going to work hard and get it all prepared and as long as we can get out tomorrow and shake it down and make sure she’s pulling in the right direction, I think we’ll be fine. I think it should be good.”
When asked about Daly and what it will take for him to get past his accident, Sato said, “First I’m glad Conor wasn’t hurt, it was horrible to see that he had a big moment today. The important thing is to find out why it happened. To know that is the most important thing, so once he knows that, he should be able to get back in the car and in a few laps he will be back up to speed.”
"We had just made a change on the springs in the rear,” Daly said as he was exiting the Speedway’s infield care center where he was checked and released. “For me, I felt comfortable the whole time. It's all been reasonably good. I was just trying to experience a little bit more with the car and there was a car in front and me. The wind, it feels like it's been gusting more and the rear was leaning hard on the outside tire and it just kind of folded over on itself. I just lost it. Just not good."
The technical data retrieved from the accident ruled out mechanical or tire failure.
Fast Friday, the final full day of practice before qualifying, is when teams trim out their cars and speeds rise as drivers and teams simulate qualifying runs in preparation for Saturday’s run for the Pole.