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St Petersburg IndyCar: Ryan Briscoe fastest in windy third practice

Ryan Briscoe edged out Helio Castroneves to top the timing screens in a windy third IndyCar practice session at St Petersburg.

The Australian, who moved to Ganassi during the off-season, bumped Castroneves from the top spot with a 1m02.4236s lap three minutes before the session ended.

There was not much in it though, with the top two separated by just 0.04s, and the top 12 covered by 0.5s.

"The conditions were tough out there," said Briscoe. "The wind is so strong, and it is blowing in different directions to yesterday. To be honest the car didn't feel that great, but I guess everyone is struggling out there.

"We made a lot of changes during the session and none of them really helped, so at the end we just went back to our starting set-up."

The track had also been rinsed clean by overnight rain, although Briscoe admitted that it hadn't made a lot of difference.

"To be honest, the track never really rubbered in yesterday," he said.

Takuma Sato's solid start to the weekend continued with the AJ Foyt driver finishing up third fastest ahead of early session leader Sebastien Bourdais, both of whom late late improvements to their times to knock Will Power down to fifth.

Ganassi's lead duo of Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon continued to play themselves into the weekend quietly, finishing the morning eighth- and ninth-fastest respectively, putting them just ahead of quickest rookie Jack Hawksworth.

Pos Driver               Team                Time        Gap       Laps
 1. Ryan Briscoe         Ganassi/Chevy       1m02.4236s             18
 2. Helio Castroneves    Penske/Chevy        1m02.4730s  + 0.0494s  23
 3. Takuma Sato          Foyt/Honda          1m02.5243s  + 0.1007s  20
 4. Sebastien Bourdais   KV/Chevy            1m02.5445s  + 0.1209s  23
 5. Will Power           Penske/Chevy        1m02.5996s  + 0.1760s  20
 6. Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt/Honda       1m02.6632s  + 0.2396s  22
 7. James Hinchcliffe    Andretti/Honda      1m02.7352s  + 0.3116s  22
 8. Tony Kanaan          Ganassi/Chevy       1m02.7450s  + 0.3214s  19
 9. Scott Dixon          Ganassi/Chevy       1m02.7910s  + 0.3674s  17
10. Jack Hawksworth      Herta/Honda         1m02.7951s  + 0.3715s  19
11. Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti/Honda      1m02.7976s  + 0.3740s  20
12. Mikhail Aleshin      Schmidt/Honda       1m02.8409s  + 0.4173s  24
13. Justin Wilson        Coyne/Honda         1m02.9237s  + 0.5001s  18
14. Graham Rahal         Rahal/Honda         1m02.9266s  + 0.5030s  23
15. Juan Pablo Montoya   Penske/Chevy        1m03.0008s  + 0.5772s  19
16. Carlos Munoz         Andretti/Honda      1m03.0537s  + 0.6301s  25
17. Josef Newgarden      Fisher/Honda        1m03.1279s  + 0.7043s  17
18. Charlie Kimball      Ganassi/Chevy       1m03.1492s  + 0.7256s  22
19. Mike Conway          Carpenter/Chevy     1m03.2338s  + 0.8102s  24
20. Marco Andretti       Andretti/Honda      1m03.3061s  + 0.8825s  15
21. Sebastian Saavedra   KV/Chevy            1m03.3738s  + 0.9502s  23
22. Carlos Huertas       Coyne/Honda         1m03.7357s  + 1.3121s  19

Daytona Competition
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