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INDYCAR NEWS 

IndyCar St Petersburg: Ryan Hunter-Reay tops first practice

Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Dallara IndyCar Barber test 2013

Ryan Hunter-Reay began his IndyCar title defence by going fastest in the opening practice session for this weekend's season-opener at St Petersburg.

Hunter-Reay moved to the top of the charts midway through the session with a best lap of 1m02.4534s, bettering the benchmark 1m02.6041s that had earlier been set by Will Power.

James Hinchliffe also beat Power's time to make it an Andretti Autosport one-two with a lap 0.0010s off Hunter-Reay's time.

Power also improved upon his earlier lap, with his best effort of 1m02.5464s leaving him in third place just ahead of EJ Viso, thus denying the Andretti team a lock-out of the top three positions.

KV Racing had an encouraging start to the weekend with Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro finishing the morning fifth and seventh-fastest respectively, the pair book-ending Dario Franchitti, who posted the quickest time by a Honda-powered driver.

Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais and Marco Andretti rounded out the top 10.

Tristan Vautier's first session as an IndyCar driver ended with the Frenchman posting the 13th-fastest lap, putting him just ahead of Scott Dixon, who endured an early spin and then struggled with what he described as "issues with a lot of different things".

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                   Time        Gap
 1.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m02.4534s
 2.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m02.4544s  + 0.0010s
 3.  Will Power           Penske Dallara-Chevy       1m02.5464s  + 0.0930s
 4.  EJ Viso              Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m02.5759s  + 0.1225s
 5.  Tony Kanaan          KV Dallara-Chevy           1m02.6114s  + 0.1580s
 6.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m02.6823s  + 0.2289s
 7.  Simona de Silvestro  KV Dallara-Chevy           1m02.6950s  + 0.2416s
 8.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher Dallara-Honda       1m02.7308s  + 0.2774s
 9.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon Dallara-Chevy       1m02.8867s  + 0.4333s
10.  Marco Andretti       Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m02.9252s  + 0.4718s
11.  Helio Castroneves    Penske Dallara-Chevy       1m02.9298s  + 0.4764s
12.  James Jakes          Rahal Dallara-Honda        1m02.9889s  + 0.5355s
13.  Tristan Vautier      Schmidt Dallara-Honda      1m03.0350s  + 0.5816s
14.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m03.0577s  + 0.6043s
15.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m03.0971s  + 0.6437s
16.  Oriol Servia         Panther/DRR Dallara-Chevy  1m03.1281s  + 0.6747s
17.  JR Hildebrand        Panther Dallara-Chevy      1m03.1421s  + 0.6887s
18.  Takuma Sato          Foyt Dallara-Honda         1m03.1997s  + 0.7463s
19.  Justin Wilson        Coyne Dallara-Honda        1m03.2089s  + 0.7555s
20.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Dallara-Honda      1m03.2320s  + 0.7786s
21.  Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon Dallara-Chevy       1m03.3909s  + 0.9375s
22.  Alex Tagliani        BHA Dallara-Honda          1m03.4498s  + 0.9964s
23.  Graham Rahal         Rahal Dallara-Honda        1m03.7855s  + 1.3321s
24.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter Dallara-Chevy    1m04.0139s  + 1.5605s
25.  Ana Beatriz          Coyne Dallara-Honda        1m04.6239s  + 2.1705s
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