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Alonso Tops Out IndyCar Rookie and Refresher Test Aheady of Indy 500 Debut

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, May 15, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    Alonso Indy 500.jpg
    Unsurprisingly Fernando Alonso came out on top of the timesheets in the Rookies and Refresher test at Indy, ahead of official practice beginning for the big race.


    Completing a total of 36 laps, McLaren Honda F1 driver Alonso ended the day with an impressive 221.631mph lap to claim fastest time in the two hour session, beating experience IndyCar driver and fellow Spaniard Oriol Servia into second place as the Rahal Letterman driver could only manage a 220.759mph lap around the famous 2.5 mile oval.

    Alonso Indy 500 3.jpg

    Despite the test being aimed at ensuring drivers looking to participate in the upcoming Indy 500 on May 28th, the session isn't exclusively open to total series rookies. Drivers who are not part of the regular IndyCar schedule can use the test to reacclimatise to high speed oval racing, and as such a number of instantly recognisable IndyCar names made their way out on track today.

    Oriol Servia of course needs no introduction to American fans, having been an on / off member of the IndyCar circus for a number of years now, and the Spanish star was joined on track by other big name US racing talents such as Ed Jones, making his full time IndyCar debut this year, who wound up in third position with a 219.288mph lap, beating British IndyCar veteran Jay Howard who ended the session in fourth position.

    Alonso will spend the remainder of May over in the United States as he begins his serious preparations for his first assault on the world renowned Indy 500 event, missing the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix in the process.

    Alonso Indy 500 2.jpg

    With the Indy 500 having such a special place in American motorsports the whole month of May is dedicated to the big race, with several official practice sessions and qualification rounds due to take place over the next weeks in the build up to race day on Sunday 28th May.

    Keep an eye on RaceDepartment as we monitor the progress of Alonso's big American adventure...

    IndyCar Practice - Day One - Live Stream (Live now - 15/5)

    IndyCar Practice - Day Two - Live Stream May 16th 17:00 GMT

    IndyCar Practice - Day Three - Live Stream May 17th 17:00 GMT


    For more news and discussions regarding motorsport and Grand Prix racing, head over to the Motorsport sub forum and join in with the community today!

    Alonso FTW? Where do you think F1's finest will come on race day? Can McLaren actually get a trophy for a change, albeit in in Formula One... ? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  2. chargingcar

    chargingcar
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    Surprising the engine didnt explode into flames :D
     
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  3. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    I still have this vision of him trying to shoehorn the Indy engine into his F1 car after the race! lol
     
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  4. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Nice to see Alonso enjoying his racing again. I just have this feeling that if this goes well he may give F1 another year or two and then make the move to the US but we'll see.

    Does anyone know if they will be streaming the race live? I'm assuming not as they have too many exclusive deals with other motorsport satellite channels but just curious if anyone knows different.

    I think last year I just listened to Indy Radio which was ok but obviously you can't see anything! :rolleyes:

    EDIT: Just watched the live interview session. Felt sorry for Marco Andretti. The reporters asked him about 20 questions about Alonso. Nothing about his own car or how his day went. He couldn't get out of there fast enough. Haha.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  5. Matt Orr

    Matt Orr

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    I have a better feeling that if this goes well he may just leave F1 at the end of this year. I think he's likely to end up in a Mansell like situation where the only teams that want him are the teams he doesn't want. I think it's 50/50 he either ends up in either IndyCar / WEC next year or F1. (no matter what he does he isn't getting paid nearly as well on the next contract)

    All of the top teams are pretty well set outside the 2nd Ferrari seat, and I'm not sure after the last three years he's interested in being sold "we'll build you a really good car with a good engine, we promise!" Indy offers a chance to run the 500 (and Le Mans) and race single seaters in a different environment than F1, WEC offers the chance to run Le Mans and make more money.

    I could very well see a situation where Honda foots Fernando's bill again, but makes him "disappear" into the car Sato is now driving in IndyCar. Perhaps not as silly as it may appear when you consider the negative press Fernando in particular has given Honda on top of their F1 performance.

    The race won't be live streamed officially, inevitably it will be live streamed by individuals though.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  6. Eric Dennis

    Eric Dennis

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    I wish I could've watched this test. It's good to see Alonso driving an Indy Car. Wouldn't it be ironic if he won the race? GO ALONSO!!!
     
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  7. Austin Ogonoski

    Austin Ogonoski

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    The really cool thing was how practice had like 20,000 viewers at any given moment on the live stream, and it was all F1 fans saying stuff like "I've never watched oval racing before but I'm so excited, look at all the cars passing each other!"
     
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  8. eljueta

    eljueta

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    But seriously DAT HELMET!!
     
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  9. T_rac3

    T_rac3
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    This is how a F1 driver must look when stepping out of his car. A BIG smile on face and a spark in his ... glasses ;)
    GOOD LUCK ALONSO !!!!
     
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  10. mopro

    mopro
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    No surprise. It seems F1 is the most demanding racing series both mentally and physically. Moving to another open wheeler racing series will "only" requires few days of getting used to.
     
  11. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
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    Don't underestimate oval-racing, it's a totally different beast.
     
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  12. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Absolutely, the cars are moving around a lot more than people think. The on-board cameras are so good they tend to soften the view these days.

    Granted Indy is probably slightly easier than say a one mile oval (because it's less hectic) but the speeds at Indy are so much higher.

    I've been downloading the Marshall Pruett podcast recently and the interviews are great to listen to. Arie Luyendyk was telling the story of his first 500 in '85 and saying the turbulence at the start was incredible. The car sounded like it was going to fall apart, body panels shaking in front of him, loud banging noises as the waves of air hit the sidepods, he wondered what on earth he'd let himself in for! :laugh::)
     
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  13. slingshot64

    slingshot64
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    I wish him the very best with this , i still think he will be an F1 driver next season only in a Merc.
    I also think Jensen will be back but for who ?.
     
  14. Matt Orr

    Matt Orr

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    I don't think a short oval would be more difficult, I think it'd be easier for a driver coming from road course only experience. The corners are just corners at that point just like a road course*. The cars will react differently to an F1 car in traffic, but he's experienced enough to know in general the car isn't going to turn.

    The real challenge at Indy is a combination of how narrow it is, the speed, the turbulence and then the famously narrow groove. It's been kept as the fastest track thanks to the rules, and it's as narrow as any oval comes.

    Has anyone noticed what line he's running? I wonder if he's running the JPM / Munoz line as that'd give him more bail out room. Haven't had a chance to catch any of the practice sessions.

    *Don't forget, Fittipaldi and Mansell were at their best not on road / street circuits, but ovals in their CART time.
     
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  15. mopro

    mopro
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    Yup ovals are scary as hell. I don't mean they will easily win the race on first try, only that they are mentally and physically ready to adapt quickly.
     
  16. slingshot64

    slingshot64
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    Almost make me renew the IR sub , just to run some indy :).