Indy 500 qualifying 2017

Fernando Alonso will start his first Indianapolis 500 from the middle of the second row of the grid after qualifying fifth for the race on 28 May.

He qualified in the Fast Nine on Saturday, and hopes to fight for positions 1-9 later on at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sato benefited from being the last of six Andretti Autosport drivers to qualify, taking his teammates' input and putting four laps together at an average speed of 230.382 miles per hour in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda. But the team was fantastic - there were guys from all six cars working on auto 29 just to make it possible, so thanks to all that teamwork I was able to go to qualifying.

Then came a rain delay that pushed the start of qualifying from late morning to the hottest part of the afternoon and forced the first drivers in qualifying line to make their only allowed attempt on a hot surface that lacked the grip needed to contend for the pole speeds.

Noblesville native Conor Daly will be racing in the 26 spot.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver will be joined on the front row by Ed Carpenter, a two-time pole victor.

Bourdais, who drives for Dale Coyne Racing, crashed on the third of his four laps of qualification as, travelling at over 230mph, he lost control on a bend, flipping his vehicle over and setting it on fire.

"The practice felt good [with] the vehicle".

Four-time Indy pole victor Castroneves, two-time race victor Juan Pablo Montoya and defending series champ Simon Pagenaud all missed out on the shootout. I went one gear down and started to pick up speed again.

"I'm feeling better and better, physically and also with the vehicle as well", Alonso said.

Together the two Honda-powered teams claimed six of the top nine spots.

McLaren would withdraw from American open-wheel racing at the end of that season, leaving Rutherford to win his third Indy 500 (and the IndyCar Series title) the next year.

Dixon admitted that the restricted running in qualifying trim due to the bad weather over the past three days had made the Fast Nine shootout a "nerve-wracking" affair.

Two-time race victor Juan Pablo Montoya qualified 18th, the outside of Row 6 at 229.565.

Alonso attempts to go for pole in Sunday's "Fast 9" group, with the session getting underway at 1700ET (2200BST).

Dixon's teammate Tony Kanaan will start seventh, the inside of Row 3.

Despite the issue, Alonso was full of praise for the work of his Andretti team after mechanics from his teammates' cars also helped with the quick engine change.

  • Julie Sanders