Some of the drivers who paced practice at Barber weren’t able to convert in qualifying.
Simona de Silvestro led Saturday morning practice but estimated her KV Racing Technology car didn’t handle Firestone’s alternate red tires as well as the primary blacks.
“On the reds we had a really big balance change,” she said. “It was a really big difference so we’ll have to try and work on that for tomorrow’s warm-up and the race. I think on the blacks we were really quick; even on the older ones. Hopefully we can make up some positions.”
Schmidt Hamilton’s Simon Pagenaud had a couple sessions in the top five but for the second race running was left befuddled by missing the Fast Six, and being outqualified by Schmidt Peterson rookie teammate Tristan Vautier.
“My car was good, we just barely missed it in qualifying,” Pagenaud said. “We’ll just keep digging a little deeper because we aren’t far off at all. I know we’ll have a good car for the race tomorrow.”
Barracuda Racing/BHA’s Alex Tagliani, second on Friday, said a mysterious issue cost him a shot at advancing.
“Honestly it’s difficult to be upset because we have such a great car,” he said. “We were on a projected (1 minute) 6.8 lap and something happened, we were either out of fuel or power, but lost a bunch of time on the backstraight into Turns 12 and 13.”
Pagenaud, de Silvestro and Tagliani start 13th through 15th on Sunday.