Carlos Munoz fastest in third practice session, Castroneves, Mann OK after wrecks

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At the end of May, no one will likely remember who had the fastest car on the third day of Indianapolis 500 practice.

The record will show that Carlos Munoz was the fastest with a speed of 230.121 mph thanks to a tow, followed by Townsend Bell (228.969), Tony Kanaan (228.172), James Davison (228.043) in his first full day at the track in the No. 19 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing, and Sage Karam (227.822).

The lasting impressions from Wednesday will be those of relief that Helio Castroneves and Pippa Man both walked away from scary wrecks during the six-hour practice session.

Castroneves, the three-time Indy 500 winner, got loose exiting Turn 1 during his second lap of the day and after hitting the wall, flipped up in air before landing on its wheels.

The Team Penske driver quickly exited his No. 3 Chevrolet and would be cleared in the infield medical center. With under 15 minutes left in the session, Castroneves returned to the track in a backup car, running 12 laps for the 15th best speed at 226.670 mph.

Mann wrecked her No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda for Dale Coyne Racing coming out of Turn 4 with about 55 minutes left in the session. She slid into the inside retaining wall before also hitting the attenuator on the wall of the pit entrance.

Mann was cleared in the medical center but did not return to the track, finishing the session 21st fastest at 226.301 mph.

The session’s top 10 was made up of four Honda engines and six Chevrolet engines.

The driver with the most practice time was Bryan Clauson (31st fastest) in his No. 88 Chevrolet, who logged 97 laps, followed by Charlie Kimball with 93.

Team Penske’s fastest driver was Simon Pagenaud, who was P1 for much of the session, but wound up P7 at 227.478 mph.

Practice Results

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III