The first part of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 Miles took place this Saturday. It was a question of determining the positions 13 to 33 of the grid, while the 12 best will compete on the occasion of the Fast 12 on Sunday. Following this, the six best will play the pole and the first two grid lines in the Fast 6.
The qualifying session therefore featured the 33 drivers, and it was disrupted by the rain. Few drivers paid the price, apart from Scott McLaughlin, who attempted another four-lap run on the barely dried track, dropping to 26th place.
It was Rinus VeeKay who set the fastest qualifying time, at an average speed of 233.655 miles/hour, or 375.951 km/h. The Ed Carpenter Racing driver is ahead of the two McLarens of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvisrt.
Then there are three of the five Ganassi drivers, namely Alex Palou, Tony Kanaan and the impressive Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time NASCAR champion confirms his ease on oval in IndyCar after his sixth place in Texas.
Ed Carpenter, who is racing on ovals this year, is also qualified for the Fast 12. Then there is a fourth Ganassi car, that of Marcus Ericsson. The former F1 driver is ahead of another, who is also a rookie, like Johnson.
It was indeed Romain Grosjean who managed to climb into the top 12, in ninth place. He can claim to be the only Andretti Autosport driver to have reached the top 12.
Scott Dixon places Ganassi’s fifth car – which will therefore have his five cars out of the 12 in the Fast 12 – in tenth place, ahead of Will Power and Takuma Sato, always excellent at the Indy 500.
In addition to the five Ganassi, there are two cars from Ed Carpenter Racing, two McLarens, an Andretti car, a Penske and a Dale Coyne with Rick Ware.
The rest of the grid is already set for next Sunday
From the 13th place, i.e. the start of the fifth row, the places are final. It is rookie David Malukas who holds this position, ahead of Josef Newgarden and Santino Ferrucci, who is only competing in the Indy 500 this year.
Simon Pagenaud finished 16th and will share the sixth row with freelancer JR Hildebrand and Conor Daly. Callum Ilott, Alexander Rossi and Graham Rahal will share the seventh row on the grid.
The eighth will consist of Sage Karam, Marco Andretti and Devlin DeFrancesco. Colton Herta will only be 25th at the start, ahead of McLaughlin and Helio Castroneves, the last winner to date of the event.
Kyle Kirkwood, Dalton Kellett and Juan Pablo Montoya will be on the tenth row, ahead of Jack Harvey, Christian Lundgaard and Stefan Wilson, who was unable to set a time due to mechanical failure.