Qualifying for the IndyCar season opener in Sao Paulo looks set to proceed as planned after overnight track improvements were successfully completed.
A series of accidents on the very bumpy and slippery Sambodrome straight yesterday prompted qualifying to be postponed to 8:30 a.m. local time today so that diamond grinding could take place on the worst sections of the concrete surface on Saturday evening. After track designer Tony Cotman (pictured) was satisfied the repairs were adequate, the field took to the track for an additional 15-minute practice session this morning to check that the circuit repairs had been a success, and although the pit straight is currently very dusty, times were immediately much quicker.
Yesterday's best practice laps had been in the 1m31s and 1m32s region, but Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay topped this morning's warm-up with a time of 1m28.5229s. Mike Conway and Justin Wilson were second and fourth for Dreyer & Reinbold, split by Luczo Dragon/de Ferran's Raphael Matos.
The session saw only one incident, with Mario Moraes (KV) clipping a barrier and sustaining relatively minor damage.