Chilton crashes in pre-qualifying practice at Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS – Rookie Max Chilton had his first accident both at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in an IndyCar in Saturday morning’s delayed pre-qualifying practice session.

The driver of the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet lost control through Turn 2 on corner exit, and tattooed the wall first with the nose assembly first, then the left rear wheel.

Chilton got out of the car but the rookie’s team likely will have to go to a backup car, which may mean swapping over the primary Chevrolet engine too into the backup car as well.

He’s the second first-year driver to have an accident, after Spencer Pigot also had one earlier this week.

“It all happened pretty quickly,” Chilton told IndyCar Radio’s Nick Yeoman.

“First green flag lap. Went through 2. The front was the best it’s ever been… but I don’t have much oval experience. You want some understeer… but I had too much front, and lost the rear. Disappointing way to the start the day.

“That’s the biggest impact I’ve ever had for sure,” he added. “I’m usually shunt-free, so it’s frustrating for sure.”

Chilton’s OK and posted this tweet just after 2 p.m. Meanwhile the team has confirmed the need to go to a backup car.

Interestingly, Chilton said in an earlier interview this week that risk management was key to his preparation and methodical growth and development on the IMS oval.

“Without tempting fate too much, I am sort of a risk manager,” Chilton told NBC Sports.

“Here, it’s crucial you’ve got the time to build up to it. Let’s face it – if I didn’t have Dario (Franchitti)and didn’t have a team that’s so good, I’d be in a riskier position.”

Chilton’s now in a tougher position than he was earlier this week.

That being said, he isn’t known as a driver who makes many mistakes and he’s now got his first IMS crash out of the way – it will just force the team into a less than ideal situation to prepare another car.

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