Despite the threat of rain on Friday, rain clouds did not arrive, allowing practice for the 107th Indianapolis 500 Mile to be held as scheduled from noon to 6:00 pm on "Fast Friday,” where turbo boost pressure is increased for Qualifying. Teams repeated simulations to prepare for the Indy 500's uni
In contrast to multiple cars forming groups to set up the cars for the race, only up to three cars are allowed on track at the same time during the Friday practice sessions leading up to the qualifying round, as when the cars are close together, the cars behind have a speed advantage when running behind another car. This makes it difficult to determine the performance that can be achieved when running solo, so teams measure times and simulate qualifying by running solo with sufficient distance between cars.
Ahead of tomorrow's two-day Qualifying, two-time Indy 500 champion (2017 and 2020) Takuma Sato set the fastest lap of the day with a time of 38.3382 seconds at 234.753 mph in the first simulation, 45 minutes into the session.
Sato was also the fastest in the four-lap run, recording 233.413 mph in the simulation after 5:00 pm. This was the second time this year that Sato was fastest for the day, as he also posted a top speed of 229.439 mph on Wednesday, the first day of practice. Sato will enter tomorrow's qualifying session as the most prepared of the 34 entrants.
The second fastest lap speed is 2020 Indy 500 pole-sitter Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian) at 234.202 mph, and second fastest four-lap average is last year's Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) at 233.1135mph. Indy 500 Honda drivers took the first and second positions in both the 1-lap and 4-lap averages. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), who took pole two years in a row, averaged 233.506 mph for the single one and 232.451 mph for the four lap average, and was 10th fastest both times.
Every driver will be given at least one chance for a hot lap on the first day of qualifying tomorrow, and the top 12 drivers will be eligible to compete for pole position on the second day of qualifying.
The 12 fastest drivers from the first day of qualifying will be reduced to six in the second day's qualifying session, and the six drivers will then go on fight for the prestigious pole position. During each stage of qualifying, each driver will enter the track for four consecutive laps and compete on average speed. Drivers who were 30th to 34th on the first day of qualifying will make their final attempt on the evening of the second day. Since there are 34 entries this year, one more than the total grid number, drivers who were 31st, 32nd, 33rd, and 34th on the first day of qualifying will compete for the three starting positions on the last row of the grid. One driver is destined not to start at all.