Power on top in morning practice
|By Matt Beer||Friday, April 15th 2011, 18:19 GMT|
Will Power was quickest in the first practice session of the weekend in Long Beach.
The Penske driver waited until the final moments of the morning to put in a 1m11.410s lap to take the top spot from Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Scott Dixon grabbed third for Ganassi, with Justin Wilson in fourth. The Dreyer & Reinbold man had been quickest in the opening 45 minutes - reserved for rookies and drivers outside the top 10 - and stayed on top for a long time even when the championship leaders came out.
Ryan Briscoe caused the first yellow of the weekend when he spun into the tyres after 20 minutes. He was able to make his own way back to the pits, and Penske had him back on track with a new rear wing within 10 minutes. He went on to take fifth, ahead of Andretti's Mike Conway.
Alex Tagliani was briefly fastest for Sam Schmidt Motorsports amid a late flurry of quick laps and position changes. He was pushed back to seventh by the flag.
Helio Castroneves (Penske), Graham Rahal (Ganassi) and Tony Kanaan (KV) completed the top 10.
Returnee Paul Tracy was in the top 10 for a while for Dragon Racing but ended the session in 15th.
Drivers having early issues included Dale Coyne Racing's James Jakes and Dreyer & Reinbold's Ana Beatriz, who both had incidents, and James Hinchcliffe, who had a small fire on his Newman/Haas car.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske 1m11.4103s 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m11.6005s + 0.1902s 3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m11.6602s + 0.2499s 4. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m11.7195s + 0.3092s 5. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m11.7818s + 0.3715s 6. Mike Conway Andretti 1m11.8074s + 0.3971s 7. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 1m11.9158s + 0.5055s 8. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m11.9559s + 0.5456s 9. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m11.9668s + 0.5565s 10. Tony Kanaan KV 1m11.9816s + 0.5713s 11. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m11.9940s + 0.5837s 12. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m12.1376s + 0.7273s 13. EJ Viso KV 1m12.1992s + 0.7889s 14. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m12.2053s + 0.7950s 15. Paul Tracy Dragon 1m12.2651s + 0.8548s 16. Raphael Matos AFS 1m12.3876s + 0.9773s 17. Takuma Sato KV 1m12.5953s + 1.1850s 18. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m12.6416s + 1.2313s 19. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m12.6621s + 1.2518s 20. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m12.7030s + 1.2927s 21. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m12.7415s + 1.3312s 22. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m12.9980s + 1.5877s 23. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m13.1309s + 1.7206s 24. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m13.4436s + 2.0333s 25. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m13.5479s + 2.1376s 26. James Jakes Dale Coyne 1m13.6652s + 2.2549s 27. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m14.7272s + 3.3169s