Andretti Autosport Still Fastest At Indy
“With the qualifying situation and the added boost for Friday and Saturday, you see a lot of race running these first few days,” Hildebrand said. “Besides trying to make the No. 4 National Guard car better and head into Thursday and Friday with some idea of what’s going to happen when you qualify, we spent the entire day running around in some form of traffic. We weren’t trying to put big laps up. We’re trying to understand how the car works behind one car, two cars, three cars, four cars, different speed of cars. It was nice at the end of the day to join the Andretti tow battle that was going on. At the end of the day, you want to figure out how your car is going to work with other cars that you might be able to race with. That’s where the speed comes from, and that’s where the focus is going to be today and tomorrow.”
Hildebrand estimates 12-15 sets of tires are used for the practice days which leaves the others for qualification runs.
“For teams that have multiple cars the engines are all different on mileage and that plays a part in it,” Hildebrand said. “We have a lot of data about how different temperatures relates to how much downforce the cars should be making. It’s estimates on how the car will feel but our engineers would like to think the car feels great but sometimes they get it wrong.”
Andretti was back in the No. 25 car that Hinchcliffe drove on Tuesday and was the third-quick driver with a lap at 223.570 mph.
“I think today went well,” Andretti said. “I’m quite pleased with how things are going for us so far. Working with the car in the heat of the day can be challenging, but we made a lot of progress to get where we are. We are going to continue to look at things and try to be faster by Race Day.”
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was fourth at 223.556 mph in a Dallara/Chevrolet with 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay rounding out the top five with a fast lap at 223.332 mph.
“It was another good day today for the Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Chevrolet,” Castroneves said. “We feel we’ve identified the places where we can improve and so now we have to continue working. Finishing near the top yesterday and today shows we hopefully have the consistency that it takes to win the race in the end.”
E.J. Viso of Andretti Autosport nearly ran 350 miles as he turned a whopping 134 laps on Tuesday. He was the sixth-fastest driver with a lap at 223.138 mph.
“Very long day for me today. I completed 134 laps. It’s enough to get the engine swapped,” Viso said. “Anyways, it was a very good, productive day. We went through some tests, which we found some good answers. We did a couple of long runs with the rest of the Andretti Autosport guys, and we are still finding new answers every time we go on a run together. Today was a little bit hotter than the other days, and the weather predictions say that Race Day is going to be even a bit hotter than today. So I think the running that we did today was pretty productive to gather some data.”
There were 32 drivers were on track Tuesday. The only driver not on track was 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, who has not turned any laps so far this month.