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Power tops first practice at Surfers

Will Power made a perfect start to his home race weekend by beating Justin Wilson to the fastest time in Friday morning practice at Surfers Paradise.

KV Racing driver Power - twice a pole-sitter but never yet a winner at the track - set a 1:36.3391 lap right at the end of the 90-minute session to out-pace Wilson (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) by 0.2216 seconds.

The top two had swapped places several times in the final half-hour, and were half a second clear of the rest of the field, which was led by the Ganassi duo.

Dario Franchitti began his IndyCar Series comeback in fine style as he took third place, 0.0148 seconds quicker than his teammate, and successor as champion, Scott Dixon.

Alex Tagliani completed the top five in a strong performance for Conquest Racing, although he also caused the session to end a few seconds early after spinning and tapping the wall on the exit of the VB chicane.

Andretti Green's Tony Kanaan was sixth ahead of 2004 event winner Bruno Junqueira (Dale Coyne Racing).

Power's teammate Oriol Servia, who is also running in Team Australia livery this weekend, was eighth fastest despite missing the end of the session having slid into the tyres at the first chicane and damaged his suspension.

Also in trouble were Rahal Letterman's Ryan Hunter-Reay, who tagged the wall early on and caused the weekend's first yellow, Helio Castroneves (who needed assistance retrieving his Penske Dallara-Honda from an escape road), and late crasher Ed Carpenter (Vision Racing).

Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver Graham Rahal completed the top ten, with EJ Viso the best of the circuit rookies as he took 12th for HVM Racing, just behind Castroneves.

Pos  Driver             Team                 Time
 1.  Will Power         KV                   1:36.3391
 2.  Justin Wilson      Newman/Haas/Lanigan  1:36.5607  + 0.2216
 3.  Dario Franchitti   Ganassi              1:36.9904  + 0.6513
 4.  Scott Dixon        Ganassi              1:37.0052  + 0.6661
 5.  Alex Tagliani      Conquest             1:37.0625  + 0.7234
 6.  Tony Kanaan        Andretti Green       1:37.0650  + 0.7259
 7.  Bruno Junqueira    Dale Coyne           1:37.3127  + 0.9736
 8.  Oriol Servia       KV                   1:37.4146  + 1.0755
 9.  Ryan Briscoe       Penske               1:37.5896  + 1.2505
10.  Graham Rahal       Newman/Haas/Lanigan  1:37.6370  + 1.2979
11.  Helio Castroneves  Penske               1:37.6514  + 1.3123
12.  EJ Viso            HVM                  1:38.3860  + 2.0469
13.  Mario Moraes       Dale Coyne           1:39.1186  + 2.7795
14.  Ryan Hunter-Reay   Rahal Letterman      1:39.1631  + 2.8240
15.  Hideki Mutoh       Andretti Green       1:39.4673  + 3.1282
16.  Vitor Meira        Foyt                 1:39.7604  + 3.4213
17.  AJ Foyt IV         Vision               1:40.1178  + 3.7787
18.  Marco Andretti     Andretti Green       1:41.1604  + 4.8213
19.  Buddy Rice         Dreyer & Reinbold    1:41.1624  + 4.8233
20.  Dan Wheldon        Panther              1:42.0197  + 5.6806
21.  Danica Patrick     Andretti Green       1:42.5072  + 6.1681
22.  Townsend Bell      Dreyer & Reinbold    1:42.6594  + 6.3203
23.  Jaime Camara       Conquest             1:42.8451  + 6.5060
24.  Ed Carpenter       Vision               1:43.0083  + 6.6692

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