Hello to all of you joining us from around the world for this last race weekend of 2017! And what a season it has been so far...
Four pilots stand a chance of taking the title this weekend – Sonka, Muroya, McLeod and Chambliss
So it's Cristian Bolton of Chile who will fly first this afternoon... and he gets some respite between his two runs as the pilots will land after the first run and then a second half will resume once all 14 have flown
this is due to the static start, where the pilots take off from the tarmac at IMS to enter the track
We can expect slower start times for this reason...
And here comes Bolton, it's looking slow but steady... he posts the first entry on the timesheet at 1:11.093, which will be disappointing for him and maybe that's due to an engine setting issue
France's Le Vot is up now... and he enters the track at 132.4kts
We're watching out for the VTM at this race where the judges will be taking a zero tolerance approach
- Pylon Hit!
Le Vot is green but then it's a pylon at Gate 12! 3s will be added to his time... and there's another penalty for incorrect level at Gate 15
Le Vot records a 1:13.082 with 5s of penalties, leaving Bolton ahead of him at this stage
Peter Podlunsek is due to fly next and this will be his last ever race after he announced his retirement ahead of Indianapolis
There's 19 gates in this 2.5 lap track and it's got its fair share of challenges along with some wind changes
And the Slovenian is into the track at 135.06kts
He's green on the splits and this is easy work to beat Bolton's time... it's clean and he can be happy with that, faster than any of his FP runs with a 1:07.550
Fastest pilot from FP3, Ivanoff will take to the track next and he needs to be strategic here to get a favourable pairing in the R14 tomorrow
He flew a 1:04 in FP3 but can he recreate that form now?
He's into the track at 138.54 and makes light work of the first section, handling the VTM without giving the judges anything to penalise
It's green all the way and he's into the last lap... this looks good for the Frenchman who does well at the speedway tracks
It's a 1:05.965 for Ivanoff's Q1 run
Now we have the last of three French pilots, it's Mika Brageot... and he's into the Indy track at 135.41kts
And this is not looking great, with climbing at Gate 5 and a 2s penalty... the splits are red and it's a bit of a washout for Brageot
He stops the clock in 1:08.956 with 2s included
Following Brageot in this Q1 session is American Michael Goulian...
Goulian is in 9th overall as we race one last time in 2017... but he's seen an improvement this season and could make it into the Final 4 tomorrow if he keeps his cool in front of the home fans
He's got Ivanoff's time to beat... and it's green through the first lap!
But he can't hold on to that lead and it moves into red at the next split time and it looks like the VTM technique has been his undoing
It's under review! But Goulian gets the all clear and it's a 1:06.406 and he moves into 2nd place behind Ivanoff
Defending 2016 World Champion and winner here at Indianapolis last year, Germany's Matthias Dolderer is taking off now and needs to really nail that static start to get optimum speed through the Start Gate