Helio Castroneves fastest in final Indy 500 practice

Helio Castroneves fastest in final Indy 500 practice

0 comments 📅27 May 2017, 01:15

INDIANAPOLIS – Helio Castroneves signaled he is primed to challenge for a record equalling fourth Indianapolis 500 win by setting the pace in closing practice on Friday, while Fernando Alonso also fired a warning crack at the famed Brickyard.

On a hot, humid day and cars in race trim, the popular Castroneves dominated what is known as ‘Carb Day’ at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He posted the fastest lap of 227.377 mph to the fore of Japan’s Takuma Sato on 226.802.

Brazil’s Tony Kanaan, the 2013 winner, had the third most qualified effort followed by 2008 champion and pole sitter Scott Dixon of New Zealand.

It was another notice grabbing display from twice Formula One world champion Alonso.

Alonso, who was allowed to frisk this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix by his McLaren Formula One team in regularity to chase Indy 500 glory on Sunday, had never been in an IndyCar until earlier this month but has instantly gotten up to speed.

The impressive Spaniard will start as one of the favorites after qualifying fifth fastest in the 33-car players.

“It was very smooth, the car felt the best so far,” said Alonso. “I am extremely happy with the car, I was making some moves with extraordinary lines what I saw in different videos from different years.

“One hour meeting you have a lot of things happening, everything is very compressed.

“Simple things I am hush running behind a little bit but today I think we ticked all the boxes.”

After an underwhelming work from Team Penske in qualifying, Castroneves was back at the top of the timing charts and the in fashion Brazilian was all smiles as he bids to become the first non-American to join the Brickyard’s sole club of four-time winners alongside Al Unser Sr., Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt.

“Qualifying did not calling out the way we wanted,” said Castroneves who will start well back on the grid after qualifying 19th. “We maintain working, digging, obviously finding a way. We’re going to fight extremely hard out there and showing a itty-bitty bit of speed certainly.

“I think today it was just a great way to finish practice like this, display that we have a good car, a good balanced car, and we’re going for the big one on Sunday.”

Reporting by Steve Keating


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