TEAM UPDATE 08 \\ 05
BIG MACHINE MUSIC CITY GRAND PRIX_QUALIFYING_REVIEW
Mixed weather brings tricky qualifying for JHR drivers in Nashville
Callum Ilott and Agustín Canapino faced a challenging qualifying session for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix as heavy rain earlier today gave way to drier conditions late this afternoon. The duo will therefore line up in P18 and P23 respectively on tomorrow’s race grid.
Juncos Hollinger Racing’s drivers were made to wait for their qualifying chance as extreme wet weather halted today’s session for more than three hours. Limited running in the dry during practice gave the teams a reduced opportunity to dial in a strong set-up for the dry qualifying shoot-out on downtown Nashville’s bumpy street course.
Callum and Agustín were allocated separate qualifying groups and the Argentine rookie was first up. The 33-year-old had performed well and claimed P10 in this morning’s rain-soaked practice. He was hopeful he could replicate that form
Firestone’s softer green sidewall tires served Agustín’s #78 Dallara-Chevrolet well and he spent much of the 10-minute session inside the top-six.
However, his hopes of reaching the ‘Fast 12’ on his first Nashville appearance were dashed late on when his rivals found some late speed. Agustín saved his best lap for the sixth and final run, clocking 1m 16.690s to finish P12 in
Callum was up next and started his qualifying bid on Firestone’s primary tires. The Briton used his previous Nashville experience to good effect and also sat on the cusp of the top six as the session progressed.
In the final few minutes, he switched to soft tires to boost his qualifying chances but his best lap time of 1m 16.017s couldn’t lift him any higher than P9 in what was a very tough qualifying group.
“Overall, we were strong in a tough qualifying group. There were lots of top teams within that group, so it was always going to be difficult.
“It’s been a tricky weekend so far with the weather. Not being able to get much running has made it hard to develop, but we will keep striving forwards. I’ll be starting P18 tomorrow, so I’ll see what the race brings.”
“I will line up in P23 for the race, but I wanted more. Honestly, I didn’t read the car well today and yesterday in the dry conditions. In the rain, we have been really good. We got P10 in practice, and the car was really strong. For some reason, this did not continue in the dry. Tomorrow, I will try my best to have a good race and take home some points for the team.”
“It has been a crazy weekend with both rainy and dry periods, and today was tough in qualifying. We couldn’t really try a setup for dry conditions on the car, and we didn’t have the speed that we were hoping for as a result.
“Both drivers did a really good job in the rain earlier today. We felt comfortable in practice, but the pace was not there in the dry qualifying session.
“I’m really happy with the team and all of their hard work. We will see where we can improve before tomorrow’s race, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”