12 minutes before the 3rd Indianapolis 500 practice, INDYCAR released their penalty for the start of Saturday's Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Castroneves was docked 8 drivers points for Rule 9.3.3 (avoidable contact).
"Following every event, the INDYCAR race stewards conduct a review of all racing incidents utilizing all the tools available - including car data, video replays and interviews with the competitors involved," said Derrick Walker, president of competition and operations, INDYCAR. "With the benefit of additional camera angles during our post-race review of Saturday's race, the stewards determined actions of the No. 3 car (Castroneves) were the cause of the first-lap incident. This obviously changed our view of the entire incident. At the conclusion of every post-race review, all penalty options are available to the stewards and they determined an avoidable contact penalty was warranted."
Rule 9.3.3 reads:
Avoidable Contact – The primary responsibility for avoiding contact with a Competitor resides with the overtaking Competitor and the secondary responsibility resides with the Competitor(s) being overtaken. A Competitor who fails to demonstrate their responsibility and initiates a maneuver that results in contact with another Competitor may be penalized.The track went green at noon, but not for long. A cut tire on the No. 4 of rookie Stefano Coletti brought out the first track inspection of the day. The course was checked and went back to green a few minutes later.
The incident free month came to an end less than an hour into the session when 3-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves made heavy contact. The Penske driver was on his second flying lap when he lost control in the apex of Turn 1. The No. 3 car rotated counterclockwise and made contact with the short chute non-SAFER Barrier wall. The car, while going backwards, flipped end-on-end before coming down on the rear wing and eventually flipping back onto all four wheels. He slid to the inside of Turn 2 and got out of the car under his own power.
He was taken to the infield care center where he was checked and released. A backup tub has been transported to the Penske garage.
Unfortunately, Castroneves wasn't the only incident of the day. Just as we entered Happy Hour the No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing entry of Pippa Mann became the second accident victim of the day.
While exiting Turn 4 of her 65th lap she caught a slide without making contact with the outside wall, but over corrected and hit the inside SAFER Barrier just before pit in. She bounced off and made very hard contact with the pit attenuator, spun several more times and came to a stop on the main straight.
She exited from the car under her own power and was transported to the infield care center where she was checked, released and cleared to drive.
Later in the session, with 22 minutes left in the day, Helio Castroneves returned to the track in his backup to turn a few instillation laps. He ran 11 in total.
The final few minutes were filled with bumping from the top spot on the pylon. First Tony Kanaan knocked teammate Sage Karam out of the top spot before Townsend Bell and finally Carlos Munoz. Munoz became the first and only driver this month to break the 230mph mark at 230.121mph.
Top 5 Practice
1 - Carlos Munoz 230.121mph
2 - Townsend Bell 228.969mph
3 - Tony Kanaan 228.172mph
4 - James Davison 228.043mph
5 - Sage Karam 227.822mph
1 - Scott Dixon 226.411mph
2 - Ed Carpenter 226.037mph
3 - JR Hildebrand 226.031mph
4 - Simon Pagenaud 225.412mph
5 - Townsend Bell 225.399mph
6 - Justin Wilson 224.817mph
7 - James Hinchcliffe 224.785mph
8 - Tony Kanaan 224.645mph
9 - Takum Sato 224.396mph
10 - Ryan Hunter-Reay 224.368mph
11 - Will Power 224.098mph
12 - Jack Hawksworth 224.096mph
13 - Sebastien Bourdais 223.958mph
14 - Gabby Chaves 223.845mph
15 - Charlie Kimball 223.786mph
16 - Oriol Servia 223.592mph
17 - Sage Karam 223.561mph
18 - Carlos Munoz 223.480mph
19 - Sebastian Saavedra 223.322mph
20 - Josef Newgarden 222.789mph
21 - James Jakes 222.640mph
22 - Juan Pablo Montoya 222.320mph
23 - Graham Rahal 222.292mph
24 - Helio Castroneves 222.285mph
25 - Conor Daly 222.224mph
26 - Carlos Huertas 221.970mph
27 - Stefano Coletti 221.582mph
28 - Pippa Mann 221.542mph
29 - Bryan Clauson 221.503mph
30 - Marco Andretti 221.381mph
31 - James Davison 221.335mph
32 - Sebastien Bourdais (88) 220.606mph
33 - Alex Tagliani 219.880mph