An informal overnight race between Chip Ganassi Racing and McLaren Racing is in its final hours as fresh cars for Felix Rosenqvist and Fernando Alonso are readied after heavy crashes were recorded on Wednesday.
For CGR’s rookie, the task grew in size and effort when the carbon fiber Dallara DW12 carrying the Swede was found to be cracked after hard impacts with the walls in Turn 2. Switching its efforts to prepare a backup car for the 27-year-old, team manager Barry Wanser told RACER the No. 10 Honda crew worked until 12:30 a.m. to complete the majority of the work.
Returning early Thursday morning, the engine in Rosenqvist’s new primary car was fired at 9 a.m. as a new spare DW12, having been wrapped overnight, was being built in the garage bay next to the car he’ll take out when practice begins at 11 a.m.
McLaren’s ongoing efforts are expected to shift Alonso’s return to the track until early afternoon. “We’re pushing, but I don’t know about 11,” said general manager Gil de Ferran.
Like Rosenqvist, the Spaniard’s team moved to preparing a backup car to continue its efforts for Alonso in the No. 66 Chevy, and were the last to leave — after CGR departed — as the single-car program attempts to make the field of 33 Indy 500 starters among the 36 entrants.
Of note from Chevy on Wednesday, a new engine has been installed in Alonso’s spare car after cracks were found following the three impacts suffered by the No. 66 in Turn 3 and 4. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam will also make use of a new Chevy engine after technicians engineers found something within the No. 24’s motor that was deemed worthy of a swap.