St Petersburg IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe tops first practice of '14
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, March 28th 2014, 15:08 GMT|
James Hinchcliffe opened the 2014 IndyCar season by setting the fastest time in the first practice session for this weekend's curtain-raiser at St Petersburg.
The Canadian, who won at the Florida street circuit last year, moved to the top of the times midway through the session with a 1m02.9326s effort, and his time remained unbeaten to the end.
Hinchcliffe's result spearheaded a 1-2-3 for Honda's new twin-turbo unit, with Justin Wilson finishing the session second fastest, and Takuma Sato in third.
Fourth fastest, and quickest of the Chevy-powered drivers, was Will Power, although all four drivers were covered by just over 0.1.s
"The session went really well, although it's obviously early in the weekend," Hinchcliffe said.
"The track is pretty green, and a lot of guys still have things to come. But hopefully this puts us into a good position for the rest of the weekend."
Juan Pablo Montoya's first taste of a street circuit in six years ended with the Colombian with the 14th fastest lap, putting him just behind reigning series champion Scott Dixon.
The Kiwi's new team-mate Tony Kanaan finished the session four places ahead in 10th.
The session was interrupted by a single, brief red flag when KV's Sebastien Bourdais spun and stalled at Turn 4. Bourdais' car was undamaged, and the Frenchman went onto finish up fifth fastest.
Pos Driver Team/Engine Time Gap Laps 1. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda 1m02.9326s 14 2. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1m02.9385s +0.0059s 17 3. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 1m03.0603s +0.1277s 18 4. Will Power Penske/Chevy 1m03.1932s +0.2606s 20 5. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy 1m03.1948s +0.2622s 18 6. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy 1m03.2067s +0.2741s 14 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda 1m03.2684s +0.3358s 14 8. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1m03.3087s +0.3761s 17 9. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 1m03.3254s +0.3928s 20 10. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy 1m03.3258s +0.3932s 14 11. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 1m03.3998s +0.4672s 17 12. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 1m03.4827s +0.5501s 18 13. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy 1m03.6425s +0.7099s 17 14. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy 1m03.6759s +0.7433s 22 15. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda 1m03.6948s +0.7622s 20 16. Mike Conway Carpenter/Chevy 1m03.7559s +0.8233s 18 17. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda 1m03.7807s +0.8481s 14 18. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy 1m03.9023s +0.9697s 13 19. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda 1m04.0541s +1.1215s 19 20. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda 1m04.1986s +1.2660s 21 21. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy 1m04.6781s +1.7455s 17 22. Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 1m07.7706s +4.8380s 6