Kiwi Scott McLaughlin has survived one of his first true ‘close shaves’ on an oval, following a near-miss incident during day three of practice at the Indianapolis 500.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s three-car organisation elected to end the opening out lap of the session with a three-wide staged photo across the front straight, similar to what Penske Racing had accomplished in the days prior.
Both McLaughlin and Colton Herta hurtled through turn four towards the slowed cars at pace. McLaughlin appeared to slow up in time, but Herta did not.
The duo were lucky to not have a high-speed accident, although they still made contact. Herta dived for the narrow space to McLaughlin’s right on the exit of the corner, rubbing both McLaughlin and the wall in the process.
“It turns out going three-wide for a photo op during practice isn’t ideal. They’re going 100mph (160kmh) on the front straight while guys are going 220 (355kmh),” Herta said.
“Whoever’s in charge of that at Rahal is a complete idiot, and is just risking everybody’s lives out here. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.
“Luckily, we got away with it easy. The car should be okay. I just pancaked the wall lightly and glad I didn’t take out Scott. I’m not mad with him, but those Rahal guys ruined everything!”
“The Rahal cars were trying to get a nice little photo and I just checked up, and Colton came through and he caught me very quickly, and it’s hard to check-up,” McLaughlin said.
“I don’t really know what happened. It’s the first lap of the morning.”