Wilson leads opening practice
|By David Malsher||Friday, June 16th 2006, 19:04 GMT|
RuSPORT ace Justin Wilson led the morning practice session for this weekend's Grand Prix of Portland, beating championship leader Sebastien Bourdais by a scant 0.009 seconds.
The Briton, who last year took pole position at this track and was a runaway leader until suffering engine failure, lapped the 1.964-mile road course in 58.430 seconds, an average speed of 121.006mph.
The 75-minute session started on a wet-but-drying surface, but Wilson clocked his fastest run on the eighth of the 21 laps he completed.
Wilson's erstwhile teammate AJ Allmendinger settled in quickly in his new home at the Forsythe Championship Racing squad to go third fastest and pip new teammate Paul Tracy. Tracy was among the many drivers to spin at the first turn during the course of the session.
Team Australia's Will Power was an impressive fifth quickest to head the rookies, while Dan Clarke also produced a respectable time to end up just 0.01 seconds slower than CTE Racing-HVM teammate Nelson Philippe.
Oriol Servia put his PKV Racing entry sixth quickest before suffering steering failure in the dying minutes of the session, causing him to hit a tyre wall and turn his car upside down.
RuSPORT's new driver Cristiano da Matta was only 12th fastest, ironically 0.01 seconds behind the man who replaced him at Dale Coyne Racing, Mario Dominguez.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Justin Wilson RuSPORT 58.430 2. Sebastien Bourdais Newman/Haas 58.439 + 0.009 3. AJ Allmendinger Forsythe 58.887 + 0.457 4. Paul Tracy Forsythe 58.939 + 0.509 5. Will Power Team Australia 59.299 + 0.869 6. Oriol Servia PKV 59.352 + 0.922 7. Bruno Junqueira Newman/Haas 59.365 + 0.935 8. Nelson Philippe CTE-HVM 59.575 + 1.145 9. Dan Clarke CTE-HVM 59.588 + 1.158 10. Alex Tagliani Team Australia 59.653 + 1.223 11. Mario Dominguez Dale Coyne 59.687 + 1.257 12. Cristiano da Matta RuSPORT 59.697 + 1.267 13. Andrew Ranger Conquest 1:00.324 + 1.894 14. Nicky Pastorelli Rocketsports 1:00.817 + 2.387 15. Katherine Legge PKV 1:00.839 + 2.409 16. Charles Zwolsman Conquest 1:00.850 + 2.420 17. Jan Heylen Dale Coyne 1:00.891 + 2.461 18. Tonis Kasemets Rocketsports 1:01.060 + 2.630