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Indy 500 Saturday Qualifying: Pigot heads field, Alonso faces Sunday bump

  • Published on 18 May 2019 23:52
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh & Harry Mattocks

Spencer Pigot has topped the speed charts after the first day of qualifying at the Indianapolis 500, to make it through to Sunday's Fast Nine session with an average 4-lap speed of 230.083.

Pigot's average of was just 0.002 mph faster than Will Power for Team Penske, who couldn't quite get the better of the Ed Carpenter Racing car.

Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden ensured that three of the four Penske cars made it into Sunday's final qualifying session, while Ed Jones impressed to end the day fifth on the charts.

Herta, who will be the only rookie to take part in the Fast Nine, set another timed lap in the final hour to jump up to fifth, despite already looking safe in the top nine,

Ed Jones was sixth, marginally behind Herta with an average speed of 229.440.

However, Jones was ahead of his employee Ed Carpenter, who started last year's Indy 500 from pole position, and he will have another shot at the feat on Sunday, as he ended the day in sixth.

Alexander Rossi was seventh, ahead of Sebastian Bourdais was ninth, as he bet Marco Andretti to the final spot for tomorrow's qualifying session. 

Hinchcliffe fails to make the top 30

As he was last year, James Hinchcliffe will be fighting not to be bumped from starting the race on Sunday.

The Canadian's day was hampered when he had a major crash during his one guaranteed lap, which forced Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to revert to the spare car.

After making it back out onto the circuit, Hinchcliffe couldn't set a good enough lap, and ill be battling for the final row tomorrow.

Alonso faces Sunday bump

Fernando Alonso had a tough day at the Indy 500 qualifying, as he failed to make the top 30. He will now face Sunday's bump, where those outside the top 30 fight for the last three positions on the grid.

The two-time Formula 1 world champion suffered a puncture on his first attempt, but then could not find much pace in McLaren's spare #66 car, which he is driving after his crash in practice. 

Alonso ran a total of five times throughout the session, and it was his third run before he made the top 30 for the first time. Then after deciding to remove his own time in order to quickly run again, his next attempt was much slower and the Spaniard decided to back off.

On his final attempt, it was hit or miss as to whether he would earn a guaranteed race start. He was safe up until a last-ditch attempt by JR Hilderbrand pushed him down the order with no time to have another go.

While Alonso didn't make the top thirty, Pippa Mann got through, sparking tears of joy following her bump from qualifying 12 months ago.

Photos IndyCar Indy 500 Qualifying 2019

Replies (5)

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  • Sucks for Fernando. Even if he gets in, he won't win

    • + 0
    • May 19 2019 - 00:25
    • At this point it's about a decent showing and getting valuable practice. I don't understand how the hell it went so wrong

      • + 0
      • May 19 2019 - 01:06
    • Well i think he needs to take some blame after crashing

      • + 0
      • May 19 2019 - 13:06
    • Heard him quoted as saying that if they didn't qualify, they didn't deserve to be in the race. How's that humble pie taste Fernando? Frankly I think it seems to me that if you don't put in the hard work during the season, especially the first few races, it's kind of arrogant to show up at the flagship event and act like a win is achievable. If I was one of the other drivers I would probably be feeling that McLaren is where they deserve to be on the grid. To his and McLaren's credit they have certainly put more international eyeballs on the Indy 500.

      • + 0
      • May 19 2019 - 20:47
  • The Indy 500, like it’s redneck cousin Daytona 500, is a race of attrition. As long as Alonso stays on the lead lap, he has a chance.

    • + 0
    • May 19 2019 - 01:26


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BE Grand Prix of Belgium

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