Qualifying Report: INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. Sept. 3, 2016—Driving the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, Jack Hawksworth continued to pace the Honda-powered contingent in qualifying today for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen. Hawksworth will start ninth in tomorrow’s 60-lap race around the picturesque 3.37-mile road course in New York’s Finger Lakes region.
“It was an interesting qualifying session, there was a lot of drama obviously in the first one,” said Hawksworth, who posted a time of 1 minute, 23.6392 seconds (145.052mph). “We did the one lap on reds and then we were on our second lap when the red came out [ironically for Sato’s accident]. “We crossed the line and we thought we were through [to the next round] and then we were out. Earlier in the session, when I was on a flyer on my first set of reds, Graham [Rahal] stopped in the middle of Turn 10, so he drew a penalty as he should. We obviously then transferred. It was pretty decent but again maybe we were just on the wrong place on the track. Power just kept backing up a little bit, and perhaps we could have gone a couple tenths quicker and got P-7. Overall a pretty decent day. The car was good and we’ve been pretty competitive all weekend so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Takuma Sato, who was in the same Round I qualifying group, was on his first hot lap when he spun in Turn 7 and hit the tire barrier. The No. 14 ABC Supply Honda sustained some damage to its right side but it can be repaired in time for tomorrow morning’s final warm-up session. Sato will start last in the 22-car field, and as A.J. Foyt told him, “You’ve got a long hard day ahead of you.”
“It was a disappointing session for us,” Sato said. “After today’s practice we made some changes and the car was pretty good but on edge. We had a little issue with the HANS device which wasn’t in place correctly so I had to pit and that made us a little bit hassled. Then on my hot lap, I just simply lost it in Turn 7. I feel bad for the boys because they made a good car. Hopefully we have a good performance tomorrow.”
There will be a special motivation for the AJ Foyt Racing team to have good results tomorrow as the cars and helmets of the team and its drivers will carry a decal which reads “In loving memory of Mr. B” who passed away this week after a long illness. Bob Barnhart, nicknamed Mr. B years ago, was the tire specialist for the team as far back as 1988 when A.J. Foyt was still driving.
“Mr. B was a real good friend of mine and an important part of our team for a long time,” said A.J. Foyt. “I trusted his judgement and he was someone we could count on year in and year out. I know he’s been sick the last couple of years but he was a fighter, and I think he stuck it out longer than his doctors thought he could. He has a great family and I’m really sorry for their loss—and ours.”
Scott Dixon won the Verizon P-1 award with a time of 1 minute, 22.5259 seconds for a record-setting speed of 147.008mph. Will Power was a close second with a speed of 146.922mph. Completing the Firestone Fast Six were: Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Max Chilton.
The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will be broadcast Sunday afternoon on NBC Sports Network starting at 2 p.m. ET.