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Ed Carpenter fastest on 3rd day of Indy 500 practice

2017-05-18 10:01

FASTEST MAN ON DAY 3: Ed Carpenter braved strong winds on the third practice day for the Indy 500 posting the highest top speed of 358.7km/h. Image: AFP / Christian Petersen

Indianapolis - Ed Carpenter turned the fastest lap by hitting 358.7km/h in a Chevrolet on the windy third day of Indianapolis 500 practice Wednesday (May 17).

Carpenter said: "I thought it was important to run on a day like today just because it is a challenge, the wind was very, very gusty, variable. And to me, if you can go out and get comfortable in conditions like that, I think it bodes well for the race car and how comfortable you can be. And you never know, it could be this windy on race day."

Speeds dipped 

Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner and fastest Honda driver, was second at 358.2km/h.

Dixon said: "We tried to get through some big-ticket items and we weren't real happy with the car (Tuesday) across the board with all four cars we've been struggling. We had some ideas we needed to try and today felt a lot better. A good improvement."

Speeds were down for the second straight day and were the lowest since Marco Andretti hit 226 on Monday. The windy and warm conditions limited the number of laps and time spent on the track as teams prepare for qualifying this weekend for the May 28 race.

Carpenter teammate JR Hildebrand was third at 354.9km/h. 

 Hildebrand said: "I felt pretty good about the amount of work we were able to get done today, when we got going initially, we felt it was a little suspect how good of a read we could get on changes since the wind is blowing hard. I'm encouraged by our ability to go out and feel changes despite gusty winds. It was nice to go out there with not too many other people and just run through our own program."

Alonso fourth quickest

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso was fourth at 353.3km/h

Alonso said: "It was tricky, very little running for the big guys, but for me, any condition is a good lesson. Today was about that, a lesson about how to drive with strong winds and how to set up the car corner to corner.

"Everything was according to plan. The team, I think, used those runs also to test something on the back (end), the engine, for tuning, and something like that, so I think it was a productive day as well."

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