Fontana, CA – June 26, 2015 – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers Ryan Briscoe and James Jakes will start the MAVTV American Real 500 race in 16th and 23rd, respectively, at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday.
Briscoe, filling in for the injured James Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car, lead the first IndyCar practice session with a 217.451 on the two-mile, D-shaped oval.
The Australian driver completed a two-lap average of 215.526 in qualifying.
“It’s been a really good day and we had pretty high expectations for qualifying,” said Briscoe. “We just didn’t go as fast as we were hoping but the car felt really good. We just had too much downforce on it. That would be a really easy fix if we were to qualify again but I’m pretty excited about the speed we’ve had in practice and in race trim. I guess we’ve been making a habit of coming from the back and towards the front so maybe we’ll just have to do that again.”
The No. 7 car fell victim to an engine failure during the second practice session. With just over two hours before the start of qualifying, Jakes’ crew thrashed to replace the engine in time. The car was ready to go at the start of the session, but just missed the cutoff for the technical inspection deadline. Therefore, the team was not permitted to make a qualifying run.
“It’s just really tough on the crew guys,” said Jakes. “We had a really good car and obviously had the engine failure in practice. The guys managed to put an engine in the car in about an hour but it just wasn’t quite quick enough to get us in line for tech.
“It’s really disappointing but it’s going to be a long race tomorrow and we’ve got a good car. I’m looking forward to it and I think we can get a good result in the No. 7 MAVTV MediaTech Oculus Honda.”
On Sunday, the Verizon IndyCar Series will hit the track for the eleventh race on the 2015 circuit. The 250-lap MAVTV American Real 500 will take place from 1-5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Tickets are available online at AutoClubSpeedway.com.