Cape Town - Fernando Alonso came through a delayed qualifying to put his McLaren-Honda-Andretti entry up into seventh ahead of the 101st Indianapolis 500.
Saturday's qualifying was delayed by five hours due to inclement weather.
Once underway Alonso clocked a four-lap average of 230.034mph to finish P7 on Saturday.
That was just 0.4mph slower than the day's pace-setter, Ed Carpenter, who took P1 with a 230.468 mph.
"I think the day was smooth for us," Alonso said.
"I think this morning when the weather came in, (it) definitely put a little bit of a stress on everyone. Obviously you have only one attempt, one shot, so you cannot get it wrong."
"I think (it) was not perfectly OK in terms of balance, in terms of driving myself, that I keep learning on this format.
"Useful run today, useful lessons. So tomorrow I will try to do better and find more speed."
The McLaren driver will now eight other drivers, including Carpenter, in a nine-car shoot-out for pole position. That will take place on Sunday.
Meanwhile the dangers involved in IndyCar's oval races were highlighted when former F1 driver Sebastien Bourdais suffered leg fractures in a crash.