Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Indy 500 Starting Grid


As the first 24 starting spots for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s most prestigious race were locked in during Saturday’s Pole Day, Sunday put drivers and teams otherwise not secured in the field into position to gain one of the last 9 spots the Memorial Day weekend running of the Indianapolis 500.

A day long known as Bump Day as it was the session where cars would often compete to make or miss the Indy 500 field. For 2012, the face only 33 cars and drivers were fighting to make the race meant there was no actual bumping this year.

There was several drivers posting new time qualifying efforts to better their starting position in the 2012 Indy 500. First out on the 2.5-mile oval racetrack was the #78 HVM Racing car of Simona de Silvestro. In the four-lap run, de Silvestro posted a 214.393-mile per hour average speed. One of only two Lotus powered race vehicles qualifying for the 2012 edition of the Indianapolis 500, the #78 starts second-to-last alongside Jean Alesi’s #64 car. Alesi’s average qualifying effort is 16.4 miles per hour slower than the pole speed. A four-lap speed of 210.094 miles per hour, Alesi at 47 years of age enters the 2012 Indy 500 as the oldest driver to compete for rookie honours.

On the other side of the speed coin, the Dragon Racing cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge made some great progress in finding qualifying pace other only receiving their Chevrolet engines midway through last week. Katherine Legge posted a respectable average speed over the 220-range while her teammate did even better. Driving the #7 race car for Dragon Racing, Bourdais posted a stunning 223.760 mile per hour four-lap average. One day earlier, that speed would have been good enough for 15th on the starting grid. However, based on the limitation of Bump Day, Sebastien Bourdais will start 25th ahead of Wade Cunningham. Cunningham and teammate Mike Conway gained their spots through Bump Day after difficulties in day before where the #14 car’s time was disallowed when the Dallara DW12 failed inspection.

At 1:15 pm, Bryan Clauson driving a second Sarah Fishing Hartman Racing car hustled into the 2012 Indy 500 with a 214.455-mile per hour effort. With 32 cars recording times, the last remaining car needing to time into the field was the #20 car of Ed Carpenter. Carpenter needed to set a time on track following a crash on Pole Day. Little past 2 pm, Ed Carpenter (driving a back-up car that was feverishly built in order to make the Indy 500) was the last driver to post a time on Bump Day at Indianapolis Motor Speed. The 33rd car that filled the Indianapolis 500 field, the four-lap speed of 222.324 miles per hour of the #20 race car was the final qualifying run posted on the race track. After almost four additional hours, the 33-car field of the 2012 Indianapolis 500 was cemented.

On May 27th, the 96th Indianapolis 500 will start with Ryan Briscoe leading the three-wide parade to the green flag on Memorial Day Sunday.

Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Starting Grid

Pos # Car # Driver Race Team Engine Supplier Average Speed
1 2 Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet 226.484
2 27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 226.481
3 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 226.240
4 26 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 225.456
5 12 Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 225.422
6 3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 225.172
7 67 Josef Newgarden Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 224.037
8 11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 224.751
9 5 EJ Viso KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 224.422
10 8 Rubens Barrichello KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 224.264
11 98 Alex Tagliani Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Honda 224.000
12 38 Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.959
13 25 Ana Beatriz Andretti Autosport/Conquest Racing Chevrolet 223.920
14 83 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.868
15 9 Scott Dixon Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.684
16 50 Dario Franchitti Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 223.582
17 19 James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing Honda 223.482
18 4 JR Hildebrand Panther Racing Chevrolet 223.422
19 15 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 223.392
20 99 Townsend Bell Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda 223.134
21 18 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda 222.929
22 30 Michel Jourdain Jr Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 222.893
23 77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda 222.891
24 17 Sebastian Saavedra AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet 222.811
25 7 Sebastien Bourdais Lotus-Dragon Racing Chevrolet 223.760
26 41 Wade Cunningham AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda 223.258
27 22 Oriol Servia Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 222.393
28 20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 222.324
29 14 Mike Conway AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda 222.319
30 6 Katherine Legge Lotus-Dragon Racing Chevrolet 221.624
31 39 Bryan Clauson Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda 214.455
32 78 Simona de Silvestro Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus 214.393
33 64 Jean Alesi Lotus – FP Journe – Fan Force United Lotus 210.094

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