The die is cast. The last practice before IndyCar’s 500 Miles, Carb Day, is over and so is the testing period before the big race of the year.
The final hour-and-a-half-long session started late due to the rain that fell again on Friday morning in Indianapolis, causing the temperature to be lower than expected on Sunday. In theory, conditions were not very conducive to risk.
But everyone wanted to do the final tests in traffic, long stints and final set-up modifications, so most of the drivers did a lot of laps. Some even did more than 60, almost a third of the total. However, it turned out to be a very uneventful session.
Until Friday there had only been one accident, in the last hour and a half there were two… and two big accidents. The first was between David Malukas (Dale Coyne) and Santino Ferrucci.
The rookie tried to pass the American on the inside before turn 1, but the Dreyer & Reinbold driver didn’t seem to see his opponent, made contact with him and sent him into the barriers.
But the more notable crash was involving Colton Herta (Andretti). He lost control of the car on turn 1, crashed backwards into the wall and lost aerodynamic grip, taking off. Fortunately, only slightly.
The car barely spun before ending up upside down, and crawled to a complete stop. The driver emerged unhurt after the stewards very gently turned the car over, then showing its considerable damage.
The damage was so bad that, according to American television, Herta, who is being tipped to move into Formula 1, will have to start the race with the reserve car (the so-called “back up car”).
Ganassi back in the lead
What didn’t change was the pace set by Ganassi. In this case it was Tony Kanaan with 227.114 mph, but the consistency of all their cars is noteworthy as well.
Marcus Ericsson finished second, Scott Dixon fourth, Jimmie Johnson seventh and Alex Palou a little further back, in 14th.