Gieblers Day At Indy
May 7, 2007 | 5:37 P.M. EST
Giebler, who passed two of the four phases during the first day of ROP and Refresher testing yesterday afternoon, finished the third section of the test in the first hour of practice on Monday and earned his full accreditation shortly after 1 p.m. (ET).
As a result, he will be allowed to begin full field practice tomorrow and have the opportunity to qualify for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 in the No. 31 Playa Del Racing Panoz-Honda this weekend.
"I went through my ROP segments quite quickly and easily," said Giebler, a former Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IndyCar Series champion and driver in the Indy Pro Series. "It's just part of the process that we had to do. It was a little frustrating. As a racing driver, you always want to go quicker."
"Today, we were just trying out some different things for the engineers, went through our programs and everything went pretty smoothly. Overall, it was a really good day to get up to full speed, and it's an amazing feeling being here."
Should Giebler qualify for the event, he would become the 10th driver to graduate from the Indy Pro Series to the Indianapolis 500.
Giebler joins Milka Duno as the only two rookies officially entered into the event. The Venezuelan-born Duno completed her ROP yesterday.
At the top of the speed charts on Monday was a familiar face, as Michael Andretti became the first person this month to break the 220 mph average speed barrier after setting a fast lap of 221.313 mph.
"I was really happy. We worked with the car a lot and I worked with myself a lot also, you know, to get comfortable," Andretti said. "It was easy to get back up to speed, but the comfort just takes some time, and I’m glad we were able to have this extra day and not having to worry about other fast cars all over you."
Later in the afternoon, he was joined by Ryan Briscoe, who set the second fastest lap of the session of 220.857 mph on his 34th of 46 laps.
Davey Hamilton (219.170 mph), Giebler (217.091), John Herb (216.671 mph) and Duno (215.949 mph) rounded out the charts for those who took times on Monday.
With the two-day Rookie Orientation Program and refresher course complete, the focus at the 2.5-mile speedway now shifts to the full field of drivers as they make their first venture onto the track tomorrow for the first practice session. It will run from Noon – 6 p.m. (ET).
Teams and drivers will have practices each day from now until Saturday, when the first round of qualifying for the first 11 positions is scheduled to take place.