Monday, May 24, 2021

INDY 500: Practice Debrief, Days 1-2

    But what did it really tell us?


Author’s Note

Not really sure why I’m doing this, as Nobody really seems to care lately what I scribble ‘bout on No Fenders, Sigh! But since I started this, and seem to be extremely interested in the daily outcome for this year’s Indianapolis 500, presumably since Thars’ Nothin’ else going on right now here in my Mum’s basement Mikey A’, Here goes Nothing…


Practice 2: Wednesday, 5/19

Had my own Mini Computer problem during the morning and wasn’t sure I was gonna have any Zoomtext Fusion 2021 Screen Reader functionality! So I scrambled to solve my First World Problem and Wallah! Here I am, Lucky You, whoever my remaining No Fenders readers are ,Thank you!


The temperature increased by 10-15 degrees, to nearly 80deg-f, making for very different track conditions, Obviously! At the Halfway point of the day’s six hour session, Marcus Ericsson from Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) was fastest at 226.007mph, folowed by Conor Daly, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Carpenter as the Top 5. While Alexander Rossi jumped up to P6.


But at the end of the day, it was Dixon on top with a lap of 226.829mph followed by Daly and Carpenter, with Ericsson sliding down to fourth. While Tony Kanaan crashed the party by finishing P5. And Sebastien Bourdais finished 6th, as everybody apparently were making Tow assisted runs.



Pato O’Ward stayed 7th with his team-mates Felix Rosenqvist and Juan Pablo Montoya P22-23 respectivley. While Marco Andretti led the Mikey A’ Armada in 10th, with Alexander rossi P12.


Young Guns Rinus VeeKay was 11th and was the Meat of an Andretti Autosport Sandwich! Whilst Alex Palou moved up the Time Sheets to P8, seeing All four CGR cars firmly inside the Top 10.


The Slowest 10 Drivers (P25-34) in Order were: J.r. Hildebrand, Max Chilton, Stefan Wilson, Simon Pagenaud, Pietro fittipaldi, Josef Newgarden, Dalton Kellett, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball and Santino Ferrucci. With Ferrucci’s lap being 219.088mph.


But I’m somewhat loathe to “Read” too much into this since Seriously? Team Penske’s Pagenaud and Newgarden were 28th & 30th respectively. And Will Power was the quickest in 15th (224.785) with Rookie Scott McLaughlin P17, which we know isn’t a true representation of Team Penske! But the bulk of the Foyt boyz’, with the exception of Team leader Sebastien Bourdais  have languished at the bottom, so who knows, eh?



R.C. Enerson completed his ROP session before the day’s practice began, but strangely sat out the rest of the day’s running. Reportedly with their Dallara-Chevrolet suffering from Fuel Starvation issues, which apparently began at the end of his ROP completion, so guessing the team  spent the rest of the day trying to resolve this mechanical Gremlin? As it’s worth noting that the team worked round the clock to put the car together Justin-time for Indy this year…


Opening Day, Practice 1: Tuesday, May 18th

The morning Veteran’s session saw Graham Rahal atop the Scoring Pylon with a lap over 223mph, as the session was interrupted multiple times by rain.


The Refresher and ROP (Rookie Orientation Program) had three participants,with J.R. Hildebrand being the only  driver to complete his requirements. As Stefan Wilson’s car struggled with some niggling problems, while the lone rookie R.C. Enerson had to cut his session short with a rear Halfshaft/Bearing issue, that fortunately the team spotted before Enerson Smacked the Wall!


The Top 5 Fastest Drivers were: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Takuma Sato, Sage Karam and Conor Daly, with Power’s lap being 226.470mph.


The Slowest 10 Drivers (P25-34) were:Scott McLaughlin, Graham Rahal,Dalton Kellett, J.R. Hildebrand, Jack Harvey, Max Chilton, Pietro Fittipaldi, Santino Ferrucci, Sebastian Bourdais and Stefan Wilson. As Wilson’s lap was 218.573mph.,


Pato O’Ward led the way for Arrow McLaren SP in P7, while Scott Dixon led the Chip Ganassi Racing effort in 8th. And I’m guessing it’s too early to read anything into Alexander Rossi being 22nd and Alex Palou P23, especially with Rahal going from fastest to P26! But it was good to see Simona de Silvestro P13, Sandwiched by Juan Pablo Montoya ahead of her, with Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden one spot behind her.



Was this an Ominous Sign for Carlin and Max Chilton? As the Bloody Brit’ was shown the “Black Flag” when his Helmet’s Air-hose came off and became a “Streamer” entangled upon his rear wing! Before ending the day in 30th out of 34 drivers.


R.C. Enerson didn’t take part in the Day’s first Full Field Practice session after having completed the first two of his three ROP Stages. As an errant CV Boot coated the Right rear corner in Grease and the team sat out the session. As the team later confirmed it was caused by a broken rear Halfshaft.


Birthday Boy Symone’, aka Pageantry’, nee Simon Pagenaud celebrated his 37th B-Day by finishing P6 at 225.230mph.