Practice Report: May 19

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INDIANAPOLIS May, 19, 2016– Alex Tagliani, in the No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Honda, led the way for AJ Foyt Racing in the fourth day of free practice for the 100th Indianapolis 500. Tagliani posted a speed of 226.272 mph, with the assist of a tow, good for 13th position on the speed charts. Tagliani ran a total of 44 laps in today’s session. After posting a 224.830 mph speed in yesterday’s practice and being two miles per hour faster today, Tagliani is happy with the progress of the team.

“Again, we made some progress today,” the Canadian veteran said. “Changes that we made continue to improve the car quite a bit. In traffic, the car seemed to be racier. We did an evaluation of the car at various points on our own, with heavy fuel tanks, running with massive packs of cars in front of us, then less. I think we’re in the ballpark; the car has really good potential. There are a few things I’d really like to see from the car for race conditions. It’s the best day we’ve had so far even though we didn’t run many laps. I’m really happy the guys kept working at it, and avoided some issues and missteps we had this morning. Everybody kept their head down to salvage a good day.”

Takuma Sato posted a speed with tow assistance of 225.044 mph in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, which put him 26th on the speed charts. Sato was slightly faster in yesterday’s session, but understands the need to be patient and to learn from all three team cars during the week.

“We had to be patient but I think I was relieved in the end,” Sato said. “We were able to learn – all three cars were trying different philosophies, and it was a good day in that each car was headed in its own direction. Now we need to gather all the data together and settle on one direction. It was a productive day; it was short on track time –spent a lot of time in the garage–but it was productive.”

Jack Hawksworth, in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, saw a big improvement from where he was yesterday. Hawksworth posted a 224.729 mph tow-assisted speed today, which put him 28th on the speed charts. Yesterday, Hawksworth posted a 217.789 mph speed with a failing engine. Today, the 41 car received a new engine, and that seemed to provide progress for the team as well as some great changes to the car towards the end of the day.

“We went out this morning in the No. 41 ABC Supply car and it was our first time running in the new engine, the Brit said. “We worked on the car. Worked on getting the balance right for race traffic. By the end of the day, found a pretty decent set up to run in. Now we need to plan for tomorrow. Obviously tomorrow is qualifying prep for Saturday. We will put this map [race trim] in our pocket and we will work on it Monday.”

Gabby Chaves posted the fastest tow-assisted speed of 227.961 mph in today’s practice. Will Power posted the fastest non-tow speed of 225.381 mph. Tomorrow’s practice session is the last before qualifying for the 100th Indianapolis 500 begins on Saturday at 11:50am EST. The 100th Indianapolis 500 will be run May 29 on ABC at 12pm EST.