And they are off! Kopfstein of the Czech Republic is first into the track for this last Free Practice session...
He will set the pace now... and will be looking to beat his time in FP yesterday. And that's 1:06.273 clean for his second run after picking up a pylon hit first time with a 1:08.903!
13.40 Master Class Free Practice 3
15.00 Challenger Class Qualifying
16.00 Master Class Qualifying
Slovenian pilot Peter Podlunsek flies next, he's new this year also to the Master Class and has almost completed his first year in the elite class
And we can see a 1:08.963 on the clock for Podlunsek, which includes 2s at Gate 4 for incorrect level...
His second run is a big improvement and it's 1:05.702 with 1s for an operational violation at Gate 5 - which is where the pilots must take the vertical turn manoeuvre in a specific way – not manoeuvering until they are in the vertical position.... might see a few more of these today :)
That time puts him ahead of Kopfstein!
Third today is Francois Le Vot of France... sitting in 12th overall with just two races to go
Le Vot stepped up to the Master Class in 2015 and has struggled to really climb the ranks... but he remains positive and we'll hope that 2017 will be a better year
His first run is disappointing, 1:11.912 and that's with a whole bevy of penalty seconds added – 1s for insufficient smoke; 1s for an operational violation; 2s for incorrect passing of gate 14 :(
Second go here in FP 3 for Le Vot...
- Pylon Hit!
And it's going from bad to worse here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Le Vot... 2s straight away at gate 2 for incorrect level and it's a pylon hit at gate 11... that's 1:12.825 on the clock...
And it's Spain's Juan Velarde out now and he's already way ahead of Podlunsek's time... it's green on the split times and he's making light work of this
Yesterday Velarde finished in 10th and 13th... so he had some homework to do last night
It looks like he's losing time in the middle part of the track... and he posts a 1:05.180 which is very respectable, but he'll need to shave more time off to be up there with the frontrunners
Second run is clean and that's a 1:06.483 for Velarde...
Now we have American Mike Goulian out into the track and we know he was really excited to be racing here this weekend!
It's a home race for Goulian and he has a lot of support from friends and family at Indy...
He was 13th and 11th yesterday in FP 1 and 2 – but looks to really have upped his game today! That's a fantastic improvement! 1:03.644 in his first run is faster than Nicolas Ivanoff's track record yesterday!
And his second run is consistently fast... now that is remarkable! It's another clean run and sub 1:04 – Mikey G posts 1:03.978!
Could that be a sign of what to expect this weekend... or have the track conditions changed to make it a faster track today? We'll have to see what happens...
Canadian Pete McLeod up next!
And we hear the buzzer going off for incorrect level at gate 11, that's 2s added to his time... it's 1:05.549 so without the penalties that was FAST!
Second run... and it's 1:04.390 clean... we're predicting some fast times out there today!
Japan's Yoshi Muroya goes next... he moved from 7th to 4th yesterday so clearly worked out some tactics between sessions
- Pylon Hit!
His first run is solid and he stops the clock in 1:06.311 including 3s – for a pylon hit at gate 5!
Muroya's second run is even faster! But he's fallen foul of the operational violation at gate 11 as well as picking up 2s at gate 8 for incorrect level... but again without those extra seconds that was a fast net time! It's 1:04.354 for the Japanese pilot!
Muroya moves into second place behind Goulian, with McLeod in third at the halfway stage of FP3
Lamb's retiring at the end of the 2016 season so is keen to finish on a high... but the season hasn't been all he'd hoped for so far... he's currently in 7th place overall
His first run is good and he's through without clipping a pylon... but he does pick up 2s for incorrect level at gate 4... so it's 1:04.842 for Lamb
And his second run isn't quite there... he's too high at gate 5 and it's incorrect level at gate 14... so that's 4s in penalties and 1:06.988 on the clock
Martin Sonka, the second of our two Czech Master Class pilots flies next and judging by his previous form, we'd expect him to knock Goulian off the top spot...
It's a strong performance for Sonka, but he adds 2s to his time, with incorrect level at gate 11 and it's 1:04.552 on the timesheet... behind Pete McLeod but with another run to make good...
And he's off! It's red at the first split time but quickly moves into the green... and again! This is good work from Sonka and he's clean on this run... and FAST! It's 1:02.723 and he moves straight to the top position!
Nicolas Ivanoff to go next, after a great result in FP2 where he posted 1:03.672 to take the fastest time of the day... can he recreate that today?
But that's the buzzer at gate 2 and an immediate 2s in penalties... he gets through the rest of the track unscathed but it's not a good result – 1:06.964 – only enough to put him in 9th
He has a second run and it's off the pace again, despite starting in the green... and another incorrect level, with 2 penalty seconds... that leaves 1:06.646 on the clock and it's 9th position with four to fly...
All our American fans have their eyes toward the skies now as Kirby Chambliss takes off in front of the grandstands... and he is off!
He was third in FP2 yesterday so we know he's got something good here for the fans, but that buzzer sounds at gate 2 for incorrect level and he'll have to work really hard to pull that back to make up for it
His split times are all in the red as he heads for the final gate and it's 1:05.999 – which minus the 2s penalty is workable...
Second chance for Chambliss... straight back into the IMS track to remedy that earlier penalty situation
He's off Sonka's pace still... it's red on the split times and we know Chambliss is better on the drag race style tracks so this twisting and turning one could prove a challenge... and there's the buzzer again :(
Incorrect level gate 13 puts 2s on his time and it's 1:05.712 for Chambliss