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Daily Trackside Report - Sunday, May 16

DAY 2 – SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):

8 a.m.

Garages open

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program

3-6 p.m.

Indianapolis 500 veteran practice

***

BAT Engineering's Bruce Ashmore was on pit lane Saturday as the Indianapolis 500 veterans took to the track for the first practice session. Ashmore, the former Lola chief designer and Reynard North America president, has partnered with former March chief designer/engineer Alan Mertens and longtime open-wheel racing engineer Tim Wardrop to compete among five entrants vying to design and manufacture a new IZOD IndyCar Series chassis scheduled to hit the racetrack for the 2012 season.

BRUCE ASHMORE: “Alan Mertens and I formed a company called BAT Engineering – for Bruce, Alan and Tim; Tim Wardrop is our ideas guy – to put in a bid for the 2012 IndyCar design. The car would be manufactured here in Indianapolis – every component of the car. There's seven composites shops here in Indy, and three of them have autoclaves large enough to make the chassis and underwing. I'm here this month convincing teams that we're the right group, that we're coming up with the right design. The car design we've come up with we think will fit every racetrack that the IZOD IndyCar Series goes to. It will be safe and strong and put on a good show here at Indianapolis.”

***

Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe talked Saturday about the condensed schedule and Team Penske’s chances in the 2010 Indianapolis 500.

RYAN BRISCOE: (About schedule): “It’s about the same amount of running time. I think we’re about six or eight hours shorter than we’ve had in the past. Track time is about the same, but it’s a bit busier and a little more intense. There is a little more strategy involved with getting qualifying and race setup all in one week. Now we squeeze it in to one week and almost do a reverse. We’ll get ready for the race first and then later in the week we’ll really focus on qualifying and get ready for Pole Day next Saturday. I really like the fact that all of the drivers are out here on Opening Day. It’s exciting for the fans that the first cars to hit the track are guys like Helio, Franchitti, Dixon and others who have won the race before. I think it is more incentive for the fans to come out and see the pros.” (On running well in last year’s Indy 500): “Last year was really good for me, but I was a bit unlucky in the race and we fell back. We had to make an extra stop early in the race. So, it was a bit unlucky, but I feel really good. The team, obviously, is the class of the field here at Indianapolis. It’s going to be tough. I’m sure Ganassi is going to be strong, as well. We’re going to be right there. Hopefully, we’ll get it right on Race Day.”

***

Justin Penix, winner of the 2010 Purdue Grand Prix kart race, was the honorary starter today. Penix, from Indianapolis, is a junior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in mechanical engineering technology.

JUSTIN PENIX: “It’s an amazing feeling. I never thought I’d be able to do this. It will be interesting to see what it’s like when the cars go by at over 200 mph.” (On winning the Purdue University Grand Prix with his team from IUPUI): “I’m fortunate enough to be the president of the Motorsports Club at IUPUI. The club is for students to get involved and to get more hands-on experience with racing. We fielded two cars in the Purdue Grand Prix, and it was a lot of fun for everyone to get involved and get their hands dirty. We’ve ran the race for over 10 years now. We won it in 2008 and this year.” (On working with Sarah Fisher Racing and having a brother employed at the IRL): “I’m helping Sarah Fisher throughout this month and the summer, as well. I’ll be on Jay Howard’s car. I’ll be doing whatever they need. Hopefully I’ll get some engineering work because that’s what I want to do after I graduate. I want to be involved with a race team. And it always helps to have a brother involved here at the track and to help you out along the way.”

***

The Indy Racing League will provide a Video News Feed during each day of practice in preparation for qualifying for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

The Video News Feed will include b-roll of on-track activity and sound from various drivers following the day’s activity. Today’s feed:

Sunday, May 16

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Coordinates: AMC 9 K 11 (CH A )

Bandwidth: 18 MHz

Symbol Rate: 13.235 MS

FEC: 3/4

Aspect Radio: 16:9

Digital: 4:2:0

Downlink Frequency: 11911 MHz Horizontal

Position: 83 degrees West

Uplink trouble number: (317) 492-8657 or (317) 492-8750

Note: ALL Indy Racing League Video News Feeds are sent in 16:9 SD format. If this format is not useable, digital copies of all VNFs are posted shortly after uplink time in the multimedia section of indycar.com/media.

***

Seven drivers must complete the Rookie Orientation: #5 Takuma Sato (KV Racing Technology), #25 Ana Beatriz (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing), #29 Sebastian Saavedra (Bryan Herta Autosport), #34 Mario Romancini (Conquest Racing), #36 Bertrand Baguette (Conquest Racing), #66 Jay Howard (Sarah Fisher Racing), #78 Simona de Silvestro (HVM Racing).

The rookie drivers must complete four phases of ROP in order to be eligible for the Indianapolis 500. At least three of the phases must be completed during ROP today. The fourth phase may be completed during practice later in the month.

The four phases of ROP include 10 laps at each of the following speeds:

200-205 mph

205-210 mph

210-215 mph

215+ mph

On Indianapolis Star Opening Day, #25 Beatriz, #78 De Silvestro and #5 Sato completed the first two phases of ROP. #29 Saavedra completed the first phase.

***

INDIANAPOLIS 500 ROOKIE ORIENTATION/REFRESHER PRACTICE:

At 10:55 a.m, the ambient temperature was 60 degrees with a relative humidity of 79 percent and winds from the east-southeast at 1 mph. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 67 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

11 a.m. – GREEN. #25 Beatriz first on track.

11:03 a.m. – YELLOW. Rain.

11:35 a.m. – GREEN.

11:45 a.m. -- #25 Beatriz, #66 Howard have completed Phase 3 of the Rookie Orientation Program.

11:46 a.m. -- #78 De Silvestro has completed Phase 3 of the Rookie Orientation Program. #36 Baguette, #34 Romancini have completed Phase 1. #29 Saavedra has completed Phase 2.

11:47 a.m. – YELLOW. #29 Saavedra slow on backstretch, out of fuel in warm-up lane in Turn 3.

11:53 a.m. – GREEN.

12:02 p.m. -- #25 Beatriz, #66 Howard have completed all four phases of Rookie Orientation Program.

12:03 p.m. -- #34 Romancini, #36 Baguette have completed Phase 2 of the Rookie Orientation Program.

12:12 p.m. – Technical report: Broken fuel pump drive for #29 Saavedra.

12:19 p.m. -- #78 De Silvestro has completed all four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program.

12:20 p.m. -- #36 Baguette has completed Phase 3 of the Rookie Orientation Program.

12:30 p.m. -- #34 Romancini has completed Phase 3 of the Rookie Orientation Program.

12:37 p.m. -- #21 Hamilton, #41 Foyt have completed refresher test.

12:51 p.m. -- #34 Romancini has completed all four phases of Rookie Orientation Program.

1:09 p.m. -- #36 Baguette has completed Phase 4 of the Rookie Orientation Program.

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