Fast Times And Flames At 500 Practice

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves posted the fastest lap during the third practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Driving the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet, Castroneves clocked a lap at 227.514 mph.

Aero kits were introduced this season to Verizon IndyCar Series competition, from Chevrolet and Honda, and have helped set track records almost everywhere in 2015.

“It was a good day,” Castroneves said. “The car was super strong, super solid, felt comfortable. Now we’ve got to just keep working with this new aero kit.”

Two days of qualifying starts Saturday and will see the 33-car grid set for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Anxious moments were spent when the No. 29 Honda, driven by Simona De Silvestro, caught fire. A suspected fuel leak was to blame.

“It’s definitely unfortunate because the car is pretty burnt down, and it’s really frustrating that it seems like fire follows me,” said De Silvestro. “Until now, everything was working fine, and it’s just annoying because it’s a pretty big setback for us.”

Conversely, the other female driver at Indianapolis, Pippa Mann, had a good day on the track, in the No. 63 Honda.

“Today was a really good day of running in the cooler conditions,” she said. “We got through a fairly good-sized list of test items and we set fairly good speeds. The handling is getting better every time we go out.”

The 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held on Sunday, May 24.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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