Pirelli World Challenge set to stage SprintX at CTMP as Indianapolis 500 Field
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (May 20, 2017) - The stage will be set for the biggest weekend in racing as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway plays host to qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. With every nanosecond counting, AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology could be the difference between the $100,000 pole award and a mid-pack start in the fabled field of 33.
While many customers are motivated by the incredible color and the strong outer layer that AERO provides, it is the aerodynamic and weight advantage that four entries will focus on most this Saturday and Sunday in qualifying.
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 runner-up Carlos Munoz and his AJ Foyt Racing teammate Conor Daly are both targeting a top run in qualifying as they look to extend the Indianapolis legacy of their team owner AJ Foyt.
Focused on his speed alone, rather than going for big draft speeds that pack running can generate, has been RLL Racing’s Graham Rahal in his Steak 'n Shake machine. He’s got some added data to work with this weekend, having the added information from his teammate Oriol Servia in the No. 16 Manitawoc Honda/Dallara entry.
“The ‘no tow’ laps are important going into qualifying this weekend,” said Rahal. “We didn’t trim out as much as some of those guys and I feel like the Steak ‘n Shake car has got some speed which is definitely nice. Then we worked on some race stuff at the end and I feel pretty comfortable. We have to work on a couple of little things but I feel pretty competitive. Qualifying at Indy is the most nerve racking thing you do all year, for sure.”
Pippa Mann will be racing her Dale Coyne Racing, Susan G. Komen Honda at the Indy 500. With her AERO stripes, she'll be riding with the names of cancer survivors to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer and breast cancer research.
This weekend will also see Pirelli World Challenge return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the second SprintX weekend of the year. The hour-long race utilizes two drivers, with a mandatory driver change pit stop sequence taking place. The dual Cadillac ATS V.R machines will look to return to the Canadian circuit, with Ricky Taylor joining Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 entry, while his brother Jordan teams with Michael Cooper. Looking to add to their PWC championship tally, Cadillacs have added AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology to their arsenal. O'Connell, along with Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows, is amongst the winningest drivers at CTMP.
"I've for sure been lucky at CTMP," O'Connell said. "I love the elevation changes and all of the fast corners that combine to make-up a very fun lap. To set a fast lap one has to dig deep and be committed. I've been told I have won there more than anyone - maybe not Ron Fellows. My most memorable was probably with Jan Magnussen getting the first prototype win for Panoz in 1999 in the ALMS. For round two of SprintX I expect us to have a better performing Cadillac, so it's my hope both Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupes will find ourselves in a better position to battle for a win."
The factory Panoz Avezzano GT program got a welcome weight break ahead of the GTS double-header, as the GT4 machine continues to make progress.
On the other side of the pond, the weekend will see the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup take to Bands Hatch, with United Autosports posting two entries with the Ligier LMP3. Both machines carry AERO on board, with the No. 3 Ligier LMP3 of Tony Wells (Bronze) & Matt Bell (silver) as well as the No. 2 Ligier LMP3 of CJ Wilson (Bronze) & Andrew Evans (Silver) both flying the colors for AERO at the legendary British track.
Additional information available at www.rethinkpaint.com
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying:
ABC 4:00 PM ET-6 PM ET Saturday, May 20
ABC 4:00 PM ET-6 PM ET Sunday, May 21
World Challenge Race Schedule:
GTS Race 1: 10:35 AM Saturday
Sprint X Race 1: 1:45 PM Saturday
GTS Race 2: 10:15 AM Saturday
Sprint X Race 2: 3:40 PM Sunday