Indianapolis 500 (2013)

Indianapolis 500

May 16

The ABC Supply team had mixed results today as practice heated up and speeds climbed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Takuma Sato was tenth quickest of the 33 drivers on track with the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda posting a speed of 223.6mph which was his quickest of the month.

“My day went well because we learned a lot, so again it was productive,” Sato said after logging 75 laps in practice. “There were a couple of things we needed to address but we learned the car performed well in race trim and qualifying trim, so that was good.”

However, rookie Conor Daly, who had been feeling the highs of racing at Indy the past three days, felt the sport’s lows today with his hard crash into the turn one wall in mid-afternoon. Fortunately the plucky young driver escaped injury and his car, which sustained extensive damage to its right side, is being repaired. Daly is expected to get back on track on tomorrow.

“These guys work so hard—I’m incredibly thankful for the continued opportunity that I have,” said Daly, who had posted his fastest lap of the week—220.7 mph-- earlier in the day. “I’m just glad that the car wasn’t as damaged as it might have looked flying through the air. I tried to save it and I would have saved it if we had about another 100 yards wider. But I know they’re going to work hard and get it all prepared and as long as we can get out tomorrow and shake it down and make sure she’s pulling in the right direction, I think we’ll be fine. I think it should be good.”

Indianapolis 500

May 15

Under hot, sunny skies with temperatures nearing 90 degrees, Takuma Sato and rookie Conor Daly logged 213 laps around the Brickyard. Sato reached his top speed of 221.8 mph (12th fastest on the speed chart) on the 86th lap of the 87 laps he ran. Daly ran 126 laps, the most of any driver for the day. His top speed of 220.6 mph came on the 112 lap. With thunderstorms predicted for Thursday, the team wanted to get as much running in as possible.

Takuma Sato:  “It was a productive day again. After yesterday, we were delayed on the program but I think we caught up nicely and we tried several things we wanted to try over the last two days and it was good to see the changes. We collected good data today and finally we were able to run in traffic to see how the car performed. We found some positives and some not so much; we’ll sort it out in the debrief tonight and hopefully continue to progress tomorrow.”

Conor Daly (who ran the most laps today at 126): “We got over 220 today which was enjoyable. I got to run in traffic at the end of the day so that was good experience—a whole new experience for me and I really enjoyed it. As long as I can keep running like that tomorrow, I think we’ll have a good platform for the race. [Was running in traffic what you expected?] “It was a little surprising--it’s tough to really get close to people so I think there’s some stuff we can do with the car to help that, but I think mainly it’s just me trying to figure out how to navigate traffic, so it should get better.”

Indianapolis 500

May 14

The ABC Supply Racing team spent most of their time in the garage instead of on the track today. A mechanical issue crept up with the No. 14 car that required the attention of the crew which prevented Takuma Sato from logging many laps.

“Unfortunately not a good day for us,” said Sato. “We had a few problems to address which took a long time to correct and we didn’t get much running in today. Hopefully tomorrow will be trouble free.”

Sato ran only 20 laps, and most were not at speed. Indeed, his 216.6 mph lap came at the end of the day after most of the issues were resolved.

Rookie Conor Daly enjoyed a full day of running in the No. 41  ABC Supply Honda. Daly ran 94 laps and reached a top speed of 219.68mph.

"Today was good,” said the 21-year-old Hoosier. “We upped our personal best speed. We also made some setup changes so that I could feel what it did to the car. At the end I got to run with Bia [Ana Beatriz] and feel what that was like to run close to a car. Slowly but surely gaining experience."

Practice continues tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Indianapolis 500

May 13, 2013

Conor Daly arrived at the AJ Foyt Racing garage around 8:00 a.m. for his final fitting in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda/Dallara. Four hours later he had passed two phases of his rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Daly passed his third and final phase –15 laps over 210 mph—during the afternoon practice. “Today was really cool, I really enjoyed my first few laps around here,” the second generation driver said. “The car feels great, very comfortable to drive, easy flat all around every lap. It’s crazy for me to think we have four more days of practice which is something that I’m not used to but it’s really nice. I’m excited that we can keep working at it and see where we end up.”

Teammate Takuma Sato set the sixth quickest time of the day with his speed of 223.363 mph in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Sato ran 45 laps today. He ran the updated Honda engine which the crew installed last night because he had reached the 2000 maximum mileage for his first engine of the season. He was the quickest of the Honda powered drivers today.

“It was a very productive day,” Sato said. “We made some changes and collected very good data from them and everything went according to plan. I’m happy to see all of the progress. It’s nice to see that Conor got up to speed very quickly so we are able to go to the proper test plan for the two cars tomorrow.”

Daly ran 37 laps in the afternoon practice and he reached a top speed of 219.044 mph.

“I was a little bit iffy on things like how does the car feel, what does it feel like,” Daly explained, “but as soon as I got up to speed where you could really feel the downforce kick in, then it was fine. It was harder to go slower than it was to go fast. It’s nice to go fast!”

For Daly, passing his rookie test quickly meant that he can now focus on preparing for qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Practice continues through Friday with qualifications set for this Saturday.

Indianapolis 500

May 12

Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply crew continued to make progress with the No. 14 Honda/Dallara at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The objective was to learn as much as they could in 60 laps, which was when the Honda engine would reach its maximum mileage today and would need to be changed.

After 62 laps, the car went to the garage but not before Sato posted a speed of 219.082 mph which was 12th fastest overall of the 23 cars on track and the third fastest Honda-powered car.

“It was a good second day,” Sato said. “It was cold and a bit windy, but at least it was consistent so we were able to go through the setups back to back to collect some valuable data. Although we didn’t get everything done we wanted to do, we learned a few things.  We’re making progress.”

The team was scheduled to change the engine this evening but they graciously waited for over an hour as the ESPN TV crew finished up an interview with Sato and took some specially lit “beauty” shots of the No. 14 car and Sato. The feature, which also includes interviews with A.J. and Larry Foyt, will be part of ABC-TV’s Indy 500 11 a.m. pre-race show on May 26.

Conor Daly, fresh from two top-five finishes (3rd and 5th) in the GP3 races in Barcelona, Spain this weekend, arrived in Indianapolis this evening. The 21-year-old driver will take to the track in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda tomorrow morning to get through his rookie test which will consist of three speed phases: 10 laps at 200-205 mph, 15 laps at 205-209 mph and 15 laps at 210-plus mph.

Daly, the son of former IndyCar and Formula 1 driver Derek Daly, tested for the Foyt team in December at Sebring International Raceway. Tomorrow will be the first time he has run an Indy car on an oval.

Daly will have from 10:15 – 11:45 to complete the first two phases of his rookie test which is what he needs to do before he will be allowed to practice with the veterans—and he is free to complete all three phases in his private 90-minute session. The veterans practice from noon to 6 p.m.

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