INDIANAPOLIS – Carlin’s rough start to the Month of May continued Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rookie Pato O’Ward lost control of his No. 31 Chevrolet in the apex of Turn 2 and went nearly head on into the SAFER barrier just north of the Turn 2 Suites.
The accident happened at 12:17 p.m. ET. when O”Ward was following three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves around the 2.5-mile track in a tow.
After the contact, O’Ward’s car briefly got airborne and nearly got upside down before coming to a rest on all four wheels on the backstretch.
It was just another shot in the arm for Carlin who’s had troubles really from the get go. Trevor Carlin told me in the garage area that the team will be back out at some point and that they do indeed have a tub for O’Ward to get back into. But, will he be in his primary car or a backup?
Chevrolet reps tell me O’Ward has a backup car. That doesn’t discount their misfortunes this month though.
O’Ward’s car had an electrical problem in the morning warmup for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Then, on the first lap of the 85 Lap race on May 11, O’Ward ran into the back of Alexander Rossi’s No. 27 Honda. He was later penalized for the maneuver.
For the on track oval action, on opening day of Indy 500 practice, O’Ward wasn’t able to complete his Rookie Orientation due to a problem with his car. He ended up having to go through all three phases before practice on Wednesday morning since he wasn’t eligible for Indy 500 practice yet.
Now, his car is wadded up.
The bigger problem is, Carlin has an alliance with McLaren Racing. McLaren, has had their share of bad moments so far too.
On April 24, Alonso’s car had a battery die before he even got out of the warmup lane. That limited his running that evening. Also, the first two days of practice, Alonso had mechanical and electrical issues on both limiting his lap time too.
Then, early in the afternoon on Wednesday, Alonso’s No. 66 Chevrolet got into the Turn 3 SAFER barrier and immediately slid down into the inside wall in Turn 4.
The team went to a backup car but also is repairing his primary.