Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Mikhail Aleshin in the No.7 SMP Racing Honda will start Sunday’s final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway from 11th place on the grid after setting a qualifying time of 01:16.8909s.
Speaking following the session, Aleshin commented by saying:
I think the team has made some good progress this weekend. “Compared to what we had with the SMP Racing car during practice, we’ve made some improvements. The team did a fantastic job and we’re moving in the right direction. We have one more step to take tomorrow in the race because we’re starting in the middle of the pack but the race is long, so it’s all good.
James Hinchcliffe’s tough Saturday carried on into qualifying, after hitting the wall at turn 11 in practice, the Mayor of HinchTown’s No.5 Arrow crew managed to get the car turned around for qualifying. Hinchcliffe however was left disappointed as he will start the race from 20th place on the grid after clocking a time of 01:17.1926s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
This morning in the press conference, I predicted that qualifying was going to be a bit of a lottery, It was literally one lap, if that, before the tires become a factor and it’s just very tricky for the drivers and for the teams to set up.
Hinchcliffe went on to say:
I had a lap that was going to be enough to transfer up until turn seven but for whatever reason, I got to turn seven and the car just didn’t turn at all. I don’t know why and it doesn’t make any sense. It was fine in turn eleven so it’s just frustrating when have a situation where it’s impossible to predict what the car is going to do, and to try and plan for that is just disappointing.
The Arrow Electronics car has been fast this season and we should be starting higher than this but we didn’t get the job done today so I’m going to work on it tomorrow.