Prepare for records to be broken today and possibly on Sunday. The initial practice lap times for the Verizon IndyCar Series were quicker than the standing qualifying lap record here at Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. The current lap record for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans stands at 1:16.0941, set by Will Power in 2015.
Power outdid that number in practice, clocking a 1:15:0197, coming in as the fastest Chevrolet engine and the fastest overall in the field. The Team Penske pilot achieved pole with the record setting run last year for the first dual of the weekend; he has found victory on Belle Isle as well, in Dual #1 of the 2014 doubleheader event.
James Hinchcliffe was the fastest Honda on Friday morning, running less than eight-tenths of a second behind Power. In fact the top 7 drivers (Power, Castroneves, Dixon, Pagenaud, Hinchcliffe, Rahal, and Bourdais) all broke the standing qualifying lap record time during the initial practice.
Weather was great and speeds were above par – but we were not without incident. The AM session was really only eventful for one driver – Mikhail Aleshin from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. He got sideways in Turn 4 towards the beginning, causing a short red flag and then again towards the end of the 75-minute session when he tagged a tire barrier pretty hard and then made contact with the wall leaving quite a bit of debris in his wake. Because he was responsible for causing two red flags in one practice, race control handed down a 10 minute stop-and-hold penalty for the No.7 Doom-sponsored Honda. By the time the session went green again, there were less than 10 minutes remaining, effectively ending Aleshin’s practice.
The field turned out well-mixed for both manufacturers, which is reflected in the Qualifying Groups with 6 Chevy and 5 Honda in Group 1; 5 Chevy and 6 Honda in Group 2:
|Dual #1 – Group 1||Dual #1 – Group 2|
Today’s qualifications follow the normal format for road and street courses – three rounds of knockout competition, ending with the Firestone Fast 6 to determine the Verizon P1 Award winner. For Sunday however (second qualifying session and second race in the same day) the quals format will be as follows:
All cars will participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each (with a guaranteed 5 minutes green-flag time). Group 2 will run first and then Group 1. The pole position for Sunday’s Race 2 will be awarded to the best overall time after both Groups have completed their 12-minute qualifying session. The remainder of the cars from the polesitter’s group will occupy odd-number positions on the grid, using their best lap times to rank order. Even-numbered positions will be filled by the other group, also ranking their best times in order to determine grid order.
Verizon IndyCar Series track times at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans:
Friday, June 3: Practice #1 – 10:45 a.m.; Quals for Dual #1 – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 4: Practice #2 – 10:05 a.m.; Dual #1 – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 5: Systems Check – 8:45 a.m.; Quals for Dual #2 – 10:45 a.m.; Dual #2 – 3:30 p.m.
Both Duals will be broadcast live on ABC. All other track action for IndyCar will be livestreamed via IndyCar – all information and links to that and radio coverage is available here.