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Penske powers to top three in Indy 500 practice

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Monday 12th May, 2014 - 9:12am

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Will Power tops opening practice for the Indy 500

Will Power tops opening practice for the Indy 500

Toowoomba star Will Power led Team Penske to a sweep of the top three fastest times in opening practice for the Indianapolis 500 later this month.

A day after the inaugural grand prix of Indianapolis on the road course, 24 of the 33 cars entered for the famous 500 on the superspeedway turned laps in the session which ran from noon to 6pm local time.

Power completed 82 tours of the ‘Brickyard’ to establish a best lap of 40.3485s at a speed of 223.057mph (358.98km/h).

Returning for the first time since his victory in 2000 when he was Chip Ganassi’s pin-up boy, Juan Pablo Montoya was second fastest in 222.502mph (358.08km/h).

Helio Castroneves, running the #3 in the famous Pennzoil livery, turned the most laps of any driver with 83 to post the third best time in 222.373mph (357.87km/h).

JR Hildebrand (#21 Preferred Freezer/Ed Carpenter) was fourth ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay in the #28 Andretti Autosport car.

EJ Viso shook down James Hinchcliffe’s #27 and produced a best lap of 222.105mph (357.44km/h).

Hinchcliffe was stood down after suffering concussion when struck by debris in the Indy GP on Saturday.

“It’s great to have EJ step in because he’s plug and play for us,” team owner Michael Andretti said.

“We thank him for the help.”

The 29-year-old Venezuelan finished 13th in the 2013 standings after missing the season finale at California’s Auto Club Speedway due to illness.

NASCAR star Kurt Busch was 12th fastest while 1995 Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve was 14th.

Recently announced KV entry James Davison was one of nine drivers entered who did not take part in the six-hour session.

The other Australian in the field, full-time Ganassi driver Ryan Briscoe, completed the day 16th on the time sheets.

Practice and qualifying continues on Saturday, May 17 ahead of pole day a day later with the 200-lap race scheduled for May 25.

See below for opening Indy 500 practice results

1

Will Power

223.057mph

40.3485s

2

Juan Pablo Montoya

222.502

40.4490

3

Helio Castroneves

222.373

40.4726

4

JR Hildebrand

222.200

40.5040

5

Ryan Hunter-Reay

222.134

40.5160

6

EJ Viso

222.105

40.5214

7

Charlie Kimball

221.845

40.5689

8

Ed Carpenter

221.772

40.5822

9

Townsend Bell

220.840

40.7534

10

Tony Kanaan

220.755

40.7691

11

Carlos Munoz

220.581

40.8013

12

Kurt Busch

229.352

40.8437

13

Scott Dixon

220.226

40.8671

14

Jacques Villeneuve

220.070

40.8960

15

Ed Carpenter

219.899

40.9278

16

Ryan Briscoe

219.745

40.9566

17

Alex Tagliani

219.557

40.9917

18

Oriol Servia

219.150

41.0678

19

Marco Andretti

218.447

41.2000

20

Takuma Sato

217.840

41.3147

21

Graham Rahal

217.454

41.3881

22

Sage Karam

217.310

41.4154

23

Josef Newgarden

216.257

41.6172

24

Martin Plowman

216.165

41.6348

 

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