Carb Day Report
INDIANAPOLIS May 27, 2016-Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is when the 33-car starting field has the chance to sort out their cars in race trim. With temperatures closer to what they will be on race day it was a good opportunity for teams to check the cars’ balance and how they perform in traffic during the one hour session.
Alex Tagliani was the happiest in the AJ Foyt Racing stable as it appeared he could put his No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Honda anywhere he wanted on the track. Tagliani, who had a tough qualifying session, will start 33rd in the 500 but he is confident after today’s session.
“I’m super happy and super thankful for all of the guys, and their hard work,” said the ebullient Frenc-Canadian driver, who was 19th quick with a top speed of 223.133mph. “They kept pounding at it and we had a mission. We wanted to be in the Top 10, we felt we had a car to be there. No one threw in the towel and they built a really good, solid car for the race. The timing is perfect. Everybody is pumped; everybody saw how competitive we were. We were aggressive out there [in final practice], so it’s going to be good to sleep, but at the same time I’m really excited for the race. The car was solid, predictable, and on the safe side. For the way we ran, it’s really positive.”
Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth? Not so much. However both drivers liked their cars last Monday and will be looking at the differences to find the sweet spots that were missing in today’s practice.
“The conditions were a bit different, the wind direction was different and it was a warmer temperature which is good because we expect to have a warmer race on Sunday,” Sato said after turning a fast lap of 223.433mph. “We need to work on the car a little bit—it washes out and was a bit unstable in traffic – I’m a little nervous about that. We need to understand where that came from but I’m confident we can go back to where we were. I think that’s the way to go. We got some good data to confirm a few things but still we need to check with the other two cars.”
Hawksworth too was more comfortable in his No. 41 ABC Supply Honda on Monday but believes the team will be able to find the combination for race day. He was 24th quick with a speed of 222.444mph.
“It was an interesting session,” said the 25-year-old Brit who will starts 31st Sunday. “The car was not as strong as it was on Monday. I was very happy with it on Monday in terms of balance. I think we need to take a step back to look at why it changed and go back to that happy place. I wasn’t able to follow closely to cars as I was able to on Monday. We’ll need to go back and look at that and go onto Sunday.”
Tony Kanaan set the pace with a lap of 226.280 mph. Carlos Munoz (224.77), Scott Dixon (224.60), Will Power (224.38) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.32) rounded out the top five.
The next time the cars will fire up will be the start of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. The race will be broadcast live on ABC-TV with the hour-long pre-race show starting at 11 a.m.