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Power leads Penske sweep in testing

Will Power, Penske, Barber testing February 2010Will Power led a Penske one-two-three on a truncated final day of IndyCar testing at Barber Motorsports Park.

The morning session was cancelled outright due to extremely cold temperatures at the Alabama road course, and there was then a further delay when reigning champion Dario Franchitti crashed heavily. Although the Ganassi driver was unhurt, barrier repairs were required, halting the session for a further hour.

But once the test finally got underway in earnest, Penske showed what a strong force its expanded three-car full-time line-up will be this year, as Power led the way with a 1m09.8724s lap, just over a tenth ahead of his team-mates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe.

Franchitti's crash left Scott Dixon to do most of Ganassi's running and the double champion took fourth place - feeling that a spin and traffic compromised what would have been his best times.

Justin Wilson remained with the lead pack, taking fifth after being third on Wednesday. His Dreyer & Reinbold team-mate Mike Conway also showed much improved form, conquering the set-up issues that had left him down the order on day one and leaping to seventh.

Takuma Sato impressed again with sixth place for KV Racing, although his team-mate EJ Viso lost time with a variety of issues and was only 15th. Potential third driver James Rossiter also continued to test for the squad and was 11th.

Marco Andretti was the best of the Andretti Autosport quartet in eighth, while Indy Lights graduate Mario Romancini took a promising 10th for Conquest.

Danica Patrick was a disappointed 17th, just behind fellow female driver Simona de Silvestro, who was testing for HVM again.

De Ferran Luczo Dragon driver Raphael Matos' day was also cut short by a crash, leaving him 18th ahead of Franchitti and Jay Howard, who took over from Sarah Fisher for the final day.

The IndyCar Series commences on a new street course in Sao Paulo on 14 March, and will race at Barber for the first time on 11 April.

Pos  Driver               Team                    Time        Gap
 1.  Will Power           Penske                  1m09.8724s           
 2.  Helio Castroneves    Penske                  1m10.0084s  + 0.1360s
 3.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske                  1m10.0459s  + 0.1735s
 4.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi                 1m10.0594s  + 0.1870s
 5.  Justin Wilson        Dreyer & Reinbold       1m10.0869s  + 0.2145s
 6.  Takuma Sato          KV                      1m10.2070s  + 0.3346s
 7.  Mike Conway          Dreyer & Reinbold       1m10.2497s  + 0.3773s
 8.  Marco Andretti       Andretti                1m10.3956s  + 0.5232s
 9.  Hideki Mutoh         Newman/Haas/Lanigan     1m10.4451s  + 0.5727s
10.  Mario Romancini      Conquest                1m10.5487s  + 0.6763s
11.  James Rossiter       KV                      1m10.5700s  + 0.6976s
12.  Tony Kanaan          Andretti                1m10.6704s  + 0.7980s
13.  Vitor Meira          Foyt                    1m10.6963s  + 0.8239s
14.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti                1m10.7123s  + 0.8399s
15.  EJ Viso              KV                      1m11.3140s  + 1.4416s
16.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                     1m11.3351s  + 1.4627s
17.  Danica Patrick       Andretti                1m11.5112s  + 1.6388s
18.  Raphael Matos        de Ferran Luczo Dragon  1m11.5484s  + 1.6760s
19.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi                 1m12.9810s  + 3.1086s
20.  Jay Howard           Sarah Fisher            1m14.1883s  + 4.3159s
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