Rookie Spencer Pigot sustains first hit of the month in Indy practice

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INDIANAPOLIS – Rookie Spencer Pigot, the reigning Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, was the first driver to hit the wall in this year’s practice for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

The driver of the No. 16 RLL/Mi-Jack/Manitowoc Honda lost control nearing the exit of Turn 1 and spun around late in the corner. The full spin around hit the left side of the car pretty hard just before 2 p.m.

While the car tilted up a bit on the left side, it did not appear under threat of going airborne on initial viewing.

This marks the first accident since the introduction of the domed skids on the underbody of the chassis, and the new rear wing beam flaps in the rear wheel pod assembly.

Pigot is out of the car, and was checked, cleared and released following a trip to the infield care center.

His car is done for the day. While the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, initially sought to repair the primary car before any possible switch to a backup chassis, the primary car has now been tubbed and they’ll have to build up a new car.

“I feel fine physically. Just feel bad for the guys,” he said. “Not really sure what happened there. Before I knew it I was facing backwards. Difficult day before that. I thought we were getting through our plan. It’s a pretty big setback. Hopefully we can get back out in the next day or two.

“The car was feeling pretty good. Car was making improvements. Everything was feeing good. Just not sure what happened. We’ll have to look and see what caused the spin.

“It’s a big setback for me and the team. It’s not what you want to happen on the second day.”

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 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


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