Colton Herta suffered a major setback with a major crash in his last practice before the Indianapolis 500.
Herta – who qualified on the front line for the last 500 years – had a rollercoaster month in which he lost his qualifying slot due to engine changes and had to run in disadvantageous conditions, meaning only 26 qualified.
On Carbohydrate Day, he admitted Andretti Autosport’s car had thickened and was too fast to Turn 1, where he disappeared in the back, crashed into a rear-right wall and then flipped over. He also hit the Turn 2 wall and came to rest at the back of the straight.
– NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) 27 May 2022
Herta had been on the radio telling her team there was nothing before the car stopped, and she was told to stay tied up until the safety crew arrived by a strategist, her father Bryan Herta.
The AMR safety crew – which follows IndyCar’s full schedule – was in Herta’s car less than eight seconds after it stopped, and they reversed, captured Herta and transferred her to a media center.
Colton then said he was fine and thanked the series for the safety measures taken in recent years including aero screens and side intrusion reinforcement.
He admits that he has pushed quite fast while overcoming the oversteer.
“It’s very sad for that race car,” Herta said when asked about the crash.
“We were really loose in all those sessions and I felt really fast for that corner.
“I was shaking and then the air was below.”
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Herta has lost the main car – which is a huge loss as the team spent months attending to the bodywork of the speedway car and tweaking it in training in May to be prepared for the race.
Her new car will feature reclaimed parts from a crashed car, but it’s usually a spare car.
The status of the Honda Herta engine may be a recurring topic for several months.
Herta has had to replace the machines in qualifying, so four machines can be used by the end of the year and may have to take additional units which means a box penalty.
There was another big crash before Carb Day training when David Malukas and Santino Ferrucci came together.
The Malukas rookie – starting 500 13. after an impressive month for Dale Coyne Racing with an HMD – dived down inside Turn 1 and Ferrucci clipped the right rear which eventually caused tire damage, spin and a wide side impact to the wall.
Malukas said the hit could be the biggest of his career, while Ferrucci blamed the incident. Looks more 50/50 because Ferrucci couldn’t move higher on the racetrack before entering.
Ferrucci was punished for avoidable contact and ordered to sit down within the last 20 minutes of the session.
Thanks for the advice!