Matt Brabham has completed more laps than any of the other 32 drivers in the 100th Indianapolis 500 field in the second full day of practice at the famed 2.5 mile oval.
The 22-year-old rookie circulated 126 times for a best speed of 223.306mph (359.376kph) – his fastest ever lap of the Speedway. Whilst that time was 27th of the 33 cars, he set the 10th quickest ‘No Tow Speed’ – or unassisted by slipstream from another car.
Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday is conducted as a single car against the clock over four laps (10 miles), therefore the No Tow Speed is the time that the majority of the paddock is looking towards as an indicator.
Brabham has been working through his program throughout the day, with the PIRTEK Team Murray crew trimming the aerodynamic profile on the #61 Chevrolet powered machine slightly. There is still some way to go before the car is in full qualifying specification.
He stopped once on track, however this was during a fuel run and the #61 was simply out of Sunoco Fuel and no issue recorded with the car.
Whilst yesterday did not see a lap turned due to inclement weather, Team Manager Mitch Davis – who is doing his 26th Indy 500 this year – was comfortable with Brabham’s progress – the rain delay giving Brabham and Engineer, Andy Brown the time to analyse data from Monday’s Rookie Orientation Program and continue the push towards Saturday’s qualifying.
The field was cut to the traditional maximum of 33 entries this morning with a proposed 34th entry declaring itself out of commission.
QUOTEBOARD – MATT BRABHAM – #61 PIRTEK TEAM MURRAY CHEVROLET
“It has been fantastic to do so many laps today, I’m feeling more comfortable in the car, which is the biggest thing. I’m enjoying it a lot more and getting further experience each time around here which is going to be good for when it counts come qualifying day and the race.
“I’m really happy with how it’s all progressing.
“Running in the pack is a lot more hairy, but I felt OK, theres some work to do on my side of just learning how to time things right and run in traffic – and I think there’s a lot we can improve on the car to help that.
“For the rest of the week, getting me up to speed in this area is going to be one of our main goals and of course making sure our race car is to the top level.
“I’m enjoying myself, running on our own, we’re really good and have some good pace there – the car is good in clean air which will be good for qualifying, the PIRTEK Team Murray crew is doing a great job, I think we just need to keep working on our racecar and see how that goes.”