INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the first of two qualifying days for the Indianapolis 500 (all times local):
Just before qualifying began in Indianapolis, series officials announced the IndyCars will be going significantly faster.
Under new rules that will take effect in 2021 and are expected to last through 2026, each car will use a 2.4.liter, twin-turbo charged V-6 engine. Current rules require cars to use a 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged V-6.
The change will give drivers a boost of about 100 horsepower. When drivers were given a boost of about 50 horsepower for this weekend’s qualifying, the top speeds increased by roughly 5 mph.
Testing on the more powerful engines will begin in 2020.
“It’s been a long process the last year,” IndyCar president of competition and operations Jay Frye said. “The drivers over the last couple of years have talked about horsepower gains, what we need — this will certainly get it to where we need it to be, the plus-900 (horsepower) range.”
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves posted the fastest lap in Saturday morning’s final pre-qualifying practice for the Indianapolis 500.
The Brazilian went around the 2.5-mile oval in 229.505 mph.
Australian Will Power was second fastest at 229.015. Power and Castroneves are teammates with Team Penske.
American JR Hildebrand was third at 227.761.
Only 11 of the 35 drivers made it onto the track following a rain delay of about 20 minutes.
The top 33 drivers will qualify for the starting grid Saturday. All 33 spots will be determined Sunday, including the pole.
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