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Old 15 May 2017, 13:20 (Ref:3733605)   #1
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Round 6: The 101st Indianapolis 500, 15th-28th May.

Round 6: The 101st Indianapolis 500, 15th-28th May.

With the Rookie Orientation Program starting today, along with the first practice session, it's time to start the thread for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.

After last year's 100th Indianapolis 500 and the anticipation that goes with such an historic event, one might have expected this year's 101st running to be a little down beat, after Alexander Rossi who qualified 9th, was the first rookie since Helio Castroneves in 2001 to win. However, this April, two time F1 World Driver's Champion, Fernando Alonso: 2005, 2006, decided not to compete at the jewel in the crown of the F1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix but instead compete in this year's Indianapolis 500 on Sunday the 28th of May, the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix.

At the end of 2014 McLaren's F1 engine deal with Mercedes ended. McLaren decided to renew their historic links with Honda, with whom they had a very successful partnership in the late '80s and early '90s, with drivers Alain Prost and the late Ayrton Senna. Alonso who raced with McLaren in 2007, was lured back from Ferrari, after a somewhat frustrating five years, having been runnerup three times in the F1 world Driver's Championship.

Since switching to Honda, the engine has been problematic from the start. With little improvemnt this year and Alonso's increasing frustration, McLaren and Alonso agreed on a joint venture to race at this year's 500. Alonso's overall aim is to win motorsport's triple crown: the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix. This has only been achieved by one other driver, the late Graham Hill. So far, Alonso has won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006-7.

McLaren's entry is a partnership with Andretti Autsoport, one of the top Honda IndyCar teams, winning the 500 with Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2014 and partnering Bryan Herta to clinch Alexander Rossi's rookie win last year.

-

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the world's oldest tracks that is still in use. In 1905 Indiana businessman Carl G. Fisher, envisioned building a circuit after watching some of the world's earliest car races in France. He felt Europe had the upper hand in car design and thought one reason was the lack of permanent testing facilities for American car manufacturers. After another visit to Europe and seeing the banked oval at Brooklands, England, he decided to build his own track.

Fisher convinced local businessmen James A. Allison, Arthur Newby and Frank W. Wheeler to join him in purchasing Pressley Farm, five miles outside of Indianapolis and totalling 328 acres for about $72,000. On March 20, 1909, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway company was incorporated and construction began that month.

The track surface consisted of packed soil covered by two inches of gravel, two inches of limestone covered with a solution of tar and oil, or taroid, one–two inches of crushed stone chips, also drenched with taroid and topped with crushed stones.

The first motorsport event was a series of motorcycle races planned over two days, under the sanction of the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM), starting on August 14, 1909. Concerns about the track surface stopped the event part way through day one. Five days later 15 teams arrived for the first car event, held over three days. This was not without incident. On day one Wilfred Bourque suffered a rear-axle failure, resulting in his car flipping end over end on the main straight, before crashing into a fence post, killing him and his mechanic Harry Halcomb. On day three the right front tire blew on Charlie Merz's car, knocking down five fence posts and dozens of spectators, killing two as well as his mechanic Claude Kellum. Ten laps later, after another accident, the race was cancelled.

The AAA, American Automobile Association, announced it would boycott further events unless the surface was changed. A concrete surface was considered but the track owners decided to pave the entire facility with bricks, after tests proved their durability. Five Indiana manufacturers supplied 3.2 million, 10-pound bricks. Each was hand laid on a 2 inch bed of sand, then levelled and the gaps filled with mortar. A concrete wall 33 inches tall was also constructed in front of the main grandstand and around all four corners to protect spectators. The final brick was made of gold and laid in a special ceremony by Governor Thomas R. Marshall.

In December 1909, the track reopened for testing, with speeds of up to 112 mph being reported. Racing returned the next year, with a series of short races held over the three main holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. The following year, 1911, racing was just confined to Memorial Day and the very first 500 mile race was held on May 30. It was won by a former racer and Marmon engineer Ray Harroun, who came out of retirement for just one race, driving the legendary Marmon-Wasp. Since then, the event has always been held on the Sunday before Memorial Day and the race has been held every year since 1911, except for 1917-18 and 1942-45, due to World Wars I and II.

Some 500 Trivia:
1911: Ray Harroun was the first winner of the 500, driving a Marmon-Wasp.
Race Time: 6:42:08.039.
Average speed: 74.59 mph (120.04 km/h).

1913: Jules Goux, from France was the first non American to win the Indy 500 and the first rookie winner, excluding the innaugural race.

1922: Jimmy Murphy was the first driver to win the race from pole position.

1939-40: Wilbur Shaw was the first driver to win back to back races.

1947: Mauri Rose and Bill Holland, scored the first team 1, 2 for entrant Lou Moore

1952: Art Cross won the first Rookie of the Year Award.

1961: Sir Jack Brabham was the first driver to race a rear engined car, a Cooper-Coventry Climax

1965: Jim Clark was the first driver to win in a rear engined car, in the Lotus 38-Ford.

1966: Graham Hill won The 50th Indy 500, in a Lola T90-Ford, the first rookie winner since 1927.

1967: Parnelli Jones raced the first gas turbine powered car, the Granatelli STP-Paxton Turbocar.

1977: Janet Guthrie was the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500.

1992: Al Unser Jr. beat Scott Goodyear by 0.043 seconds in the 500's closest finnish.

1992: Lyn St. James wins the first Female Rookie of the Year Award.

1996: Arie Luyendyk sets a new 1 lap track record of 37.895 seconds, 237.498 mph (382.216 kmh) and a new 4-lap track record of 2:31.908, 236.986 mph (381.392 kmh). He also recorded an unofficial 1 lap of 00:37.616 seconds, 239.260 mph (385.052 kmh). Will Arie Luyendyk's 20 year old lap records be finally broken this year? I doubt it.

2005: Danica Patrick became the first female driver to lead the Indy 500.

2009: Danica Patrick finished 3rd, the highest position for a female driver.

2013: was the fastest race, with a time of 2:40:03.4181 and average Speed of 187.433 mph (301.644 kmh).

2016: Alexander Rossi was the first American to win since 2006 and the first rookie to win since 2009.

The most wins by any driver is 4, held jointly by:
A.J. Foyt: 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977.
Al Unser Sr.: 1970, 1971, 1978, 1987.
Rick Mears: 1979, 1984, 1988, 1991.

The team with the most wins: Penske, 16.
1972, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988,
1991, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006,
2009, 2015

The driver/team owner with the most wins: A.J. Foyt.
1964, 1967, 1977.

Current driver with the most wins: Hélio Castroneves.
2001, 2002, 2009.

This year seven former 500 winners will be taking part.
Buddy Lazier. 1996
Juan-Pablo Montoya. 2000, 2015
Helio Castroneves. 2001, 2002, 2009
Scott Dixon. 2008
Tony Kanaan. 2013
Ryan Hunter-Reay. 2014
Alexander Rossi. 2016

Track layout:


Length: 2.5 Miles (4.0 Km)

Turns:
4

1 lap record:

Arie Luyendyk, May 10, 1996. 00:37.895 seconds, 237.498 mph (382.216 km/h). Reynard 96i-Ford Cosworth XB, Indy Racing League.
4 lap record:
Arie Luyendyk, May 12, 1996. 2:31.908, 236.986 mph (381.392 km/h), Reynard 96i-Ford Cosworth XB, Indy Racing League.

Last year's race:

Pole:
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Dallara-Honda H16RTT. Combined lap time, 2:36.0063. Average Speed, 230.760 Mph (371.372 Km/h)

Winner:
Alexander Rossi,
Andretti-Herta,
Dallara DW12-Honda H16RTT.

Laps: 200
Distance: 500 Miles (805 km)
Race Time: 3:00:02.0872
Average Speed: 166.634 mph (268.171 km/h).
Caution periods: 6
Caution laps: 46

Race broadcast:
ABC. May 28th, 11:00am ET.

Last edited by bjohnsonsmith; 15 May 2017 at 16:41.
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Old 15 May 2017, 16:06 (Ref:3733629)   #2
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Most excellent post #1 bjs!

112 mph in 1909 on a closed circuit with a "passenger". When men were men. This track and this race certainly harken back to yesteryear and is why I love it so much.

Looking forward to it and hopefully my son, who turns 7 on the 28th will want to watch.

Speaking of which, bjs, it's the 28th, not the 29th. I know it's been run on actual Memorial Day a couple of times but not this year! We hope
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Old 15 May 2017, 16:44 (Ref:3733634)   #3
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Most excellent post #1 bjs!

112 mph in 1909 on a closed circuit with a "passenger". When men were men. This track and this race certainly harken back to yesteryear and is why I love it so much.

Looking forward to it and hopefully my son, who turns 7 on the 28th will want to watch.

Speaking of which, bjs, it's the 28th, not the 29th. I know it's been run on actual Memorial Day a couple of times but not this year! We hope
Ooops. That was a cut and paste from last year's race. Cheers.
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Old 15 May 2017, 17:08 (Ref:3733638)   #4
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The first practice session is now live. http://racecontrol.indycar.com/
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Old 16 May 2017, 03:22 (Ref:3733725)   #5
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jimclark should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridjimclark should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
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I know it's been run on actual Memorial Day a couple of times but not this year! We hope
Uh, uh, uuuhhhh. No biggie but, it was way more than that. I know from it's inception, thru the 60s, it was run mostly on the holi-day itself, barring a few it's and that's...
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Old 16 May 2017, 08:51 (Ref:3733767)   #6
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Rob29 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRob29 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
33 cars entered 32 first day practice times-who is missing?
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Old 16 May 2017, 09:57 (Ref:3733783)   #7
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D.R.T. should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridD.R.T. should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Lazier?
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Old 16 May 2017, 13:35 (Ref:3733845)   #8
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Yes. Lazier is "not yet confirmed" but the team is:
https://www.motorsport.com/indycar/n...3-cars-904047/

Alonso respectable first practice day as quickest rookie. Marco paced the field:

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Old 16 May 2017, 15:02 (Ref:3733866)   #9
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[QUOTE=fieldodreams79;3733845]Yes. Lazier is "not yet confirmed" but the team is:
https://www.motorsport.com/indycar/n...3-cars-904047/


Lazier is on the official entry list, published on the 14th. He's listed 27th, with car 48.

http://digbza2f4g9qo.cloudfront.net/...0170514T110650
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Old 16 May 2017, 15:14 (Ref:3733872)   #10
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S griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Just a shame I can't get it on Freeview, but I'm sure I'll find some way of following it
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Old 16 May 2017, 15:23 (Ref:3733874)   #11
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[QUOTE=bjohnsonsmith;3733866]
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Originally Posted by fieldodreams79 View Post
Yes. Lazier is "not yet confirmed" but the team is:
https://www.motorsport.com/indycar/n...3-cars-904047/


Lazier is on the official entry list, published on the 14th. He's listed 27th, with car 48.

http://digbza2f4g9qo.cloudfront.net/...0170514T110650
Yup. Plenty of more recent articles confirming him as the driver and showing that he's attempting to make his 20th 500 at 49. Can't readily find anything why he didn't participate in yesterday's session...
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Old 16 May 2017, 17:04 (Ref:3733884)   #12
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P2 is about to start. http://racecontrol.indycar.com/
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Old 16 May 2017, 17:12 (Ref:3733886)   #13
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[QUOTE=fieldodreams79;3733874]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohnsonsmith View Post

Yup. Plenty of more recent articles confirming him as the driver and showing that he's attempting to make his 20th 500 at 49. Can't readily find anything why he didn't participate in yesterday's session...
With P2 about to start they mentioned Lazier and apparently his car is still being prepared but he will appear for P3 tomorrow.
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Old 16 May 2017, 18:47 (Ref:3733901)   #14
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I stummbled upon the YouTube live practice for those who'd like that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEhssKUgWbg

25,000 watching!
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Old 16 May 2017, 19:00 (Ref:3733904)   #15
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I stummbled upon the YouTube live practice for those who'd like that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEhssKUgWbg

25,000 watching!
Why thank you!
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