Kvyat to start from pit lane in Japan after crash

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Daniil Kvyat will start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix from the pit lane after crashing out in the closing stages of qualifying on Saturday.

Coming through the high-speed left-hand kink on the run down to turn 11, Kvyat touched the grass, causing his car to lose control and spear into the tire wall with considerable force.

The Russian walked away from the incident unharmed, but the same could not be said of his car which had been left in a number of pieces following the crash.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed that Kvyat would be starting tomorrow’s race from the pit lane, as his crew must break parc ferme restrictions to get the car repaired for the race.

“The most important thing today is that Dany is alright after what was a very big accident in Q3,” Horner said. “It’s a testament to the strength of these cars and shows why safety is always our priority in this sport.

“Clearly, we will have a very long night producing a car for him to race tomorrow. He will have to start from pit lane and has nothing to lose so he will be running an aggressive race.”

Kvyat revealed that the crash marked the first time he had rolled a car in his racing career, but felt more frustrated than hurt in the aftermath of the incident.

“I’ve never rolled a racing car before and they say there’s a first time for everything,” Kvyat said. “I’m feeling more disappointment than pain.

“I put two wheels on the grass and there was not much run off area at that point so it put me straight into the wall. I was pushing hard after a messy FP3 and this is the consequence of going over the limit.

“The car looks really bad and I’m sorry for the guys who have already had a tough couple of weeks and now they have even more work to do.

“Where would I have finished? I don’t know, but it should have been looking better than P10, because the car felt good in the fast sections, even though we lack the speed in a straight line. Tomorrow, we will try our best as usual.”

The Japanese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30am ET on Sunday.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.