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Rain curtails Indy rookie session

Tomas Scheckter, Dreyer & Reinbold, Indy 2010Persistent rain at Indianapolis restricted the rookie field's attempts to get up to speed for this year's 500.

Four hours this afternoon were set aside for drivers new to Indy or requiring 'refresher' track time, but rain set in only five minutes after the session started.

It relented for a brief period three hours later, allowing just over 20 minutes of running before the precipitation resumed. Finally at 5.30pm local time, half an hour before the session was due to end, the officials decided to call it a day.

Dreyer & Reinbold's returnee Tomas Scheckter went fastest in the little running that took place, ahead of Graham Rahal, driving for father Bobby's Rahal Letterman team for the first time.

Jay Howard (Sarah Fisher Racing), Ana Beatriz (Dreyer & Reinbold), Simona de Silvestro (HVM) and Takuma Sato (KV) at least made some progress through their rookie orientation courses, during which the new drivers have to produce four consistent runs at ever-increasing pre-determined speeds before they can be passed to compete fully.

But Conquest duo Mario Romancini and Bertrand Baguette did not have chance to get up to speed at all today, and neither did returnees AJ Foyt IV (Foyt) and Davey Hamilton (de Ferran Dragon).

Sunday will see another two-hour session for 'veteran' drivers before the rookies and refresher drivers have the remaining four hours to themselves again, giving the newcomers plenty of time to complete the rookie stipulations providing it stays dry. Full practice starts on Monday.

Pos  Driver               Team                    Time        Gap
 1.  Tomas Scheckter      Dreyer & Reinbold       40.6107s
 2.  Graham Rahal         Rahal Letterman         40.9197s    + 0.3090s
 3.  Townsend Bell        Schmidt/Ganassi         40.9791s    + 0.3684s
 4.  Jay Howard           Sarah Fisher            41.8529s    + 1.2422s
 5.  Ana Beatriz          Dreyer & Reinbold       42.0950s    + 1.4843s
 6.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                     42.0961s    + 1.4854s
 7.  Takuma Sato          KV                      42.6546s    + 2.0439s
 8.  Sebastian Saavedra   Herta                   42.6684s    + 2.0577s
 9.  Mario Romancini      Conquest                48.5300s    + 7.9193s
10.  Bertrand Baguette    Conquest                1m06.2179s  + 25.6072s
11.  AJ Foyt IV           Foyt                    1m23.3059s  + 42.6953s
12.  Davey Hamilton       de Ferran Luczo Dragon
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