Alonso happy af­ter Indy 500 prac­tice

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CHICAGO: Fer­nando Alonso shrugged off sear­ing tem­per­a­tures to post the fastest rookie time dur­ing prac­tice for the Indy 500 at In­di­anapo­lis Mo­tor Speed­way on Monday.

The For­mula One star, who jet­ted into the United States less than 24 hours af­ter fin­ish­ing 12th in the Span­ish Grand Prix, com­pleted 36 laps on the fa­mous oval at a best av­er­age speed of 221.63mph.

The for­mer For­mula One world cham­pion ad­mit­ted he had feared the blaz­ing hot sun­shine and tem­per­a­tures around 32 de­grees Cel­sius might be a prob­lem be­fore climb­ing into his McLarenHonda-An­dretti.

“I was a lit­tle bit con­cerned about the tem­per­a­ture, as it was much hot­ter to­day than at the test we did here on May 3,” Alonso said.

“But the car felt as good as it did at the test, and I was able to make some setup changes without los­ing the con­fi­dence in the car.”

Un­der Indy 500 rules, prac­tice ses­sions and qual­i­fy­ing are gov­erned by top av­er­age speed. The open­ing ses­sion is for rook­ies and re­turn­ing driv­ers who have not raced in the event for a sig­nif­i­cant time.

Alonso’s top av­er­age speed was just faster than com­pa­triot Oriol Servia, who had an av­er­age speed of 353.20kmph

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