Today didn't start perfectly this morning. In practice this morning, the car wouldn't start. The dash was going all crazy because of the low voltage in the car. It turns out that the battery had decided to break between the trailer and the pit lane. We managed to get the car started and I did 5 laps. It was very difficult as my dash readout had gone into 'safe' mode and wasn't showing me any information. As a result, I was shifting on the rev limiter, guessing on gears and trying to relearn the track all at the same time. Plus I was worried about the car dying on me during the session. However, even with those limited laps, when I did the lap time I did, it was fifth quickest. I ended the session 13th, but was very pleased with the car. Once we had found a battery to replace the broken one, we were ready for qualifying. We had planned to make three or four changes to the car during practice to improve the set up. As a result, we were going into qualifying a bit unprepared.
Even with the problem in practice, qualifying went very well. I had a solid qualifying run and ended the session 5th. However, it wasn't quite simple and easy. It was more than 15 minutes into the 45 minute session before I could get a real lap time. There were a couple of full course yellows before anyone had done any laps. Once we got going, the car wasn't perfect but was still very competitive. After setting a time good enough for 6th, I pitted for new tires. We changed the tires and then I went back out. The track was rubbering in all the time and getting quicker and quicker. I then set a time good enough for 5th and then was slid back down to 8th. I then set a time that put me 4th in the order. I was setting up for a last lap run at a quick time when I encountered traffic. As I pulled into the pits after the checkered flag, I was told by my engineer on the radio that I had one other driver bump me to 5th. Still, after the morning I had, I am very happy with that!
As a reminder, I have a practice tomorrow at 9-9:30AM and then my race is from 1-2:30PM (30 laps/100 miles). It should be shown live online at www.indycar.com/indylights (sometimes Firefox has some issues running the video- I've found at least.)