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Indy 500 qualifying delayed by storms

Indy 500 qualifying delayed by storms
By F1i

20/05/2017 at 18:19Updated 20/05/2017 at 18:24

Fernando Alonso will have to wait a little bit longer before he can make his attempt to qualify for the 101st running of the Indy 500.

Storms moved into the area around Indianapolis Motor Speedway just minutes before qualifying was due to start at 11am local time. Storms also caused a two and a half delay on Friday.

Spectators were told to move to a place of safety as lightning was visible in the skies close to the two-and-a-half mile oval. The rain started to fall shortly afterwards.

Even once the storms have passed, there will have to be a process of thoroughly drying the track before qualifying can get underway. IndyCars cannot race on ovals in wet conditions.

Fernando Alonso is seen during practice for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 15, 2017 in Indianapolis, In.

Fernando Alonso is seen during practice for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 15, 2017 in Indianapolis, In.Getty Images

Indy 500 rules guarantee all drivers get least one qualifying run on Saturday. Each car completes four solo laps, with the total time setting the driver's qualifying position.

The order cars go out is set by random draw, with McLaren's Fernando Alonso set to go out in the middle of the order. The session was originally scheduled to last for seven hours, concluding at 5.50pm local time.

It's not clear when the session may be restarted. Rain radar shows a heavy deluge heading toward IMS. Forecasters have warned of flash flooding in the area. Even once the main weather system has passed through there is the likelihood of sporadic showers during the afternoon.

Fernando Alonso is seen during practice for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 18, 2017 in Indianapolis, In.

Fernando Alonso is seen during practice for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 18, 2017 in Indianapolis, In.Getty Images

Saturday's session determines who starts on the front three rows, and who starts further back. However the exact order within those groups isn't set until Sunday.

Morning practice Saturday had been delayed by ten minutes because of overcast skies and misting conditions. Only six drivers took part, with Alonso not among them.

The fastest time was set by Harding Racing's Gabby Chaves, whose best lap clocked in at 39.4460s (228.160mph). A total of 51 laps were recorded during the session.

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