May 19 (Reuters) - The 33 car field for the Indianapolis 500 was set on Sunday with women drivers claiming three of the nine spots on offer on Bump Day.
Brazil’s Ana Beatriz and Britain’s Pippa Mann and Katherine Legge joined Swiss Simona De Silvestro, who was among the 24 cars that qualified on Saturday for next Sunday’s race.
”I‘m much happier than I was this time yesterday (Saturday),“ said Mann, who failed to earn a spot on Pole Day at the famed Brickyard. ”This was a nice, clean run.
“We almost had four really nice clean laps... I‘m happy right now, much less stressed than I was yesterday.”
Beatriz qualified 29th and will start in middle of row 10 while her Dale Coyne Racing stable mate Mann will go from 30th spot on the grid.
Legge, whose deal to race at Indy came together just before qualifying, was 33rd fastest and then waited nervously to see if she would be bumped from last spot by a faster car.
”Relief,“ summed up Legge after the Bump Day action came to an end. ”Obviously it’s not nice to do it in that manner; I feel bad for Michel (Jourdain Jr.). It’s not nice for him to not have the opportunity.
”However I am happy I am in the field. I‘m not going to lie about that.
“I‘m going to sleep tonight for the first time in a few days.”
American Ed Carpenter upstaged IndyCar’s biggest names and teams on Saturday beating out an eight car challenge from Team Penske and Andretti Autosport to grab pole for the 97th Indianapolis 500.
Carpenter, IndyCar’s only owner/driver, delivered the big surprise at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, clocking a four-lap average speed of 228.762 mph in his Chevrolet powered Dallara around the sprawling 2.5 mile oval to take first spot in the front row ahead of another surprise package rookie Colombian Carlos Munoz.
Munoz, who currently leads the Indy Lights (IndyCar’s development series) drivers standings will do double duty with the Freedom 100 and Indy 500 next week.
Starting on the outside of row one in next Sunday’s race is a more familiar name, Marco Andretti, grandson of former-Formula One champion and Indy 500winner Mario Andretti.