Franchitti fastest between showers
|By Matt Beer||Friday, September 3rd 2010, 15:35 GMT|
Dario Franchitti was quickest in a rain-interrupted IndyCar practice session at Kentucky Speedway.
After 20 minutes of clear running initially, moisture and debris at Turn 1 forced the first yellow, before a long rain shower led to a pause of nearly half an hour.
The organisers hoped to fit in at least 15 more minutes of running when the track finally went green again, but had to concede defeat after more rain eight minutes later.
During that final brief spell of track action, Ganassi driver Franchitti put in a 24.4955s lap to usurp Penske's Helio Castroneves, who had led the way up to then.
Scott Dixon was third in Ganassi's second car, with Dan Wheldon showing strong form for Panther in fourth, a week after his near-victory at Chicagoland.
Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Andretti Autosport's Tony Kanaan completed the top six, while championship leader Will Power (Penske) was back in 10th.
Seventh place was a promising result for Mario Moraes and KV Racing, but the leading underdog of the session was AJ Foyt Racing's Vitor Meira - who took eighth.
The rain interruptions hampered preparations for the drivers reacclimatising to different teams this weekend. Paul Tracy and Graham Rahal were only 25th and 26th on their returns to Dreyer & Reinbold and Sarah Fisher Racing respectively.
Qualifying for Saturday night's race is due to take place in just under two hours' time, with a 20 per cent chance of rain predicted for this afternoon.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 24.4955s 2. Helio Castroneves Penske 24.5183s + 0.0228s 3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 24.5482s + 0.0527s 4. Dan Wheldon Panther 24.5494s + 0.0539s 5. Ryan Briscoe Penske 24.5882s + 0.0927s 6. Tony Kanaan Andretti 24.6060s + 0.1105s 7. Mario Moraes KV 24.6061s + 0.1106s 8. Vitor Meira Foyt 24.6179s + 0.1224s 9. Marco Andretti Andretti 24.6265s + 0.1310s 10. Will Power Penske 24.6485s + 0.1530s 11. Danica Patrick Andretti 24.6507s + 0.1552s 12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 24.6544s + 0.1589s 13. Ed Carpenter Panther/Vision 24.6684s + 0.1729s 14. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 24.6842s + 0.1887s 15. Takuma Sato KV 24.6868s + 0.1913s 16. Raphael Matos De Ferran Dragon 24.7167s + 0.2212s 17. Tomas Scheckter Conquest 24.7242s + 0.2287s 18. Alex Tagliani FAZZT 24.7301s + 0.2346s 19. Bertrand Baguette Conquest 24.7681s + 0.2726s 20. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher 24.7960s + 0.3005s 21. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 24.8246s + 0.3291s 22. EJ Viso KV 24.8738s + 0.3783s 23. Simona de Silvestro HVM 24.9016s + 0.4061s 24. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas 24.9328s + 0.4373s 25. Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold 24.9797s + 0.4842s 26. Graham Rahal Sarah Fisher 25.0829s + 0.5874s 27. Milka Duno Dale Coyne 25.3171s + 0.8216s