Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 25 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 25 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.


Glenn Freeman
AUTOSPORT.com Editor

autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit www.autosport.com to see our new site.

Indy 500 qualifying: Carpenter's first pole lap 'blew my mind'

Ed Carpenter ECR Indianapolis 500 2018

Indianapolis 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter says his 230mph opening qualifying lap that helped secure pole position 'blew his mind'.

Carpenter started his four-lap run with a 230mph opener, with Penske's Simon Pagenaud getting closest to that benchmark with a first qualifying lap of 229.125mph.

"Several drivers in the IndyCar field, including Carpenter, were able to lap in the low 231mph range on 'Fast Friday', but all had required tows to do so.

But Carpenter said a 230mph lap on Sunday looked unlikely after Saturday's first qualifying.

"That first lap blew my mind, I figured we could run a 229mph [lap] based on last [Saturday] night," he said.

"My run last night wasn't very good. The car wasn't nearly as good as we have been.

"I knew we had more left, but I wasn't expecting a 230mph [lap]. The whole ECR team, especially the guys on the #20 car, they put so much love into this car.

"It means everything to me to put us in a position like this."

Ed Carpenter Racing did not work on qualifying simulations until Thursday's practice, and Carpenter credited a turnaround after set-up problems as key to his pole.

"The car wasn't very well balanced, so we had a think about it, came back with something different for Friday," he said. "It was much, much better."

Carpenter added that concerns about the difficulty of overtaking made his pole position more important than his previous poles for the Indy 500.

"[Track position is more important] than my previous two poles," he said. "I think it's going to be beneficial.

"It's always nice to start up front just because you can control things a little bit.

"Unless we all figure out a lot with race set-ups the next couple of days, it certainly feels good knowing I've got clean air in front of me, at least as long as I get a good start.

"I'm excited to get in the car and keep working on the race set-up and hopefully make it as perfect as this qualifying car was because of all the pole runs I've had here, this one, believe it or not, came the easiest."

Spencer Pigot and Danica Patrick made sure all three ECR-run entries made the qualifying 'Fast Nine'.

Danica Patrick ECR Indianapolis 500 2018

Patrick qualified seventh after a slight error at Turn 1 and said she was glad her run was "boring".

"You hope it's boring, and it was pretty boring," she said. "So as far as a run goes, to be going as fast as you can possibly go, it was pretty comfortable.

"We're there in case something goes wrong, but other than that everything should be pretty predictable, pretty boring up there.

"You're pilots just ready for emergencies. That's what we're doing in the car, we're ready for understeers, oversteers, and you're there for it, so luckily it was pretty good."

Subs
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed