Will Power fastest in practice at IndyCar opener

Will Power quickest on the streets of St Petersburg

Will Power quickest on the streets of St Petersburg

Will Power has set the pace during the opening day of practice for the opening IndyCar round on the streets of St Petersburg in Florida.

The Toowoomba racer put his Verizon Team Penske car ahead of reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay with a best lap of 1 minute, 1.4467 seconds, while Hunter-Reay checked in second at 1:01.6252.

In all, 18 of the 25 drivers were within one second of Power.

“I think we’ll get 59s especially with the red (alternate) tires,” Power said.

“Just the year of development has made the difference. The engine manufacturers got a bit more power and just through the development drivers get a little more downforce and a lot of grip.”

The big story from the Friday sessions was the speed of Simona de Silvestro who was third quickest. The time justifying her move to KV Racing Technology.

“It’s a big difference. Last year we came in here and we knew it was going to be a struggle, and this year we come after a really good Barber test and it showed right away,” said de Silvestro.

“Even this morning I thought we were pretty quick even if we still have a little bit of work to do on the car. It’s definitely a relief to know we can be fast and we can be right up there with the other guys.”

Off the pace were Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti (17th) and Kiwi Scott Dixon (19th).

TIMES: Friday combined – St Petersburg

Position Driver Time
1 Will Power 1:01.4467
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:01.625
3 Simona de Silvestro 1:01.6895
4 Oriol Servia 1:01.7650
5 Takuma Sato 1:01.7703
7 Helio Castroneves 1:01.7853
8 Tony Kanaan 1:01.8087
8 James Hinchcliffe 1:02.0039
9 Tristan Vautier (R) 1:02.0459
10 Marco Andretti 1:02.0877
11 James Jakes 1:02.1030
12 Simon Pagenaud 1:02.1134
13 Charlie Kimball 1:02.1962
14 Graham Rahal 1:02.3596
15 EJ Viso 1:02.3622
16 Justin Wilson 1:02.3833
17 Dario Franchitti 1:02.4086
18 Sebastien Bourdais 1:02.4166
19 Scott Dixon 1:02.5031
20 Alex Tagliani 1:02.5098
21 Josef Newgarden 1:02.5305
22 Sebastian Saavedra 1:02.5581
23 JR Hildebrand 1:02.9057
24 Ed Carpenter 1:03.1420
25 Ana Beatriz 1:03.9670

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