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.