Briscoe tops first Sao Paulo session
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, April 30th 2011, 12:51 GMT|
Ryan Briscoe led a Penske one-two in the opening free practice session for this weekend's IndyCar Series race on the streets of Sao Paulo.
Last minute improvements from Briscoe and team-mate Will Power took them to the top two positions, 0.0349 seconds apart, as they deposed long-time pacesetter Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport).
The latter had been quickest in the opening half hour, which was reserved for rookies and drivers outside the top 10 in the championship.
Although Power soon moved to the front when the full field joined in for the final 45 minutes, it was Hunter-Reay who was ahead again going into the last few moments, until the Penske duo made their eleventh-hour improvements.
But for Hunter-Reay it would have been an all-Penske top three, with Helio Castroneves ending up fourth.
Justin Wilson's Dreyer & Reinbold car headed to the pits carrying a 'Helio's Hitlist' banner mocking Castroneves' recent string of collisions - one of which had seen Wilson the victim in Long Beach. Wilson then ended the session right behind Castroneves in fifth.
Ganassi's Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon were sixth and seventh, with KV's Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso next up, and Graham Rahal completing the top 10 in another Ganassi entry. Long Beach winner Mike Conway (Andretti) was 12th.
The morning saw only one yellow, to retrieve Simona de Silvestro's HVM car after it ground to a halt on her out-lap. The problem could not be fixed in time for her to rejoin the session.
With all the track activity compressed into Saturday and Sunday in Sao Paulo, there will be another hour of practice later today before the qualifying session.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m25.1072s 2. Will Power Penske 1m25.1421s + 0.0349s 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m25.2043s + 0.0971s 4. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m25.2314s + 0.1242s 5. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m25.3510s + 0.2438s 6. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m25.3873s + 0.2801s 7. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m25.5052s + 0.3980s 8. Tony Kanaan KV 1m25.6099s + 0.5027s 9. EJ Viso KV 1m25.7079s + 0.6007s 10. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m25.7247s + 0.6175s 11. Raphael Matos AFS 1m25.7486s + 0.6414s 12. Mike Conway Andretti 1m25.7720s + 0.6648s 13. Takuma Sato KV 1m25.8121s + 0.7049s 14. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 1m25.8724s + 0.7652s 15. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m25.8942s + 0.7870s 16. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m25.9291s + 0.8219s 17. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m26.0231s + 0.9159s 18. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m26.1082s + 1.0010s 19. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m26.1088s + 1.0016s 20. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m26.2445s + 1.1373s 21. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m26.2506s + 1.1434s 22. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m26.2629s + 1.1557s 23. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m26.5350s + 1.4278s 24. James Jakes Dale Coyne 1m27.3504s + 2.2432s 25. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m27.8477s + 2.7405s 26. Simona de Silvestro HVM