Baltimore IndyCar: Ryan Briscoe tops final practice

Ryan Briscoe went quickest in an eventful third IndyCar practice session in Baltimore

Baltimore IndyCar: Ryan Briscoe tops final practice

The Penske driver, who won at Sonoma last weekend, went to the top with a best time of 1m19.7635s, edging out Mike Conway by just 0.0011 seconds.

Rapidly improving track conditions after morning rain meant that several drivers could have had a shot at bettering the Australian's time with their final lap.

But JR Hildebrand put paid to that when he caught too much of the kerb at the newly-installed chicane and crashed heavily, bringing out a red flag just seconds after the chequered flag had been waved.

Hildebrand's was the fourth stoppage of the morning, with Takuma Sato and Hunter-Reay both causing reds through spins, and EJ Viso triggering one with a crash.

The session gave the drivers the first look at the permanent chicane that was built overnight to prevent cars from launching over the rail tracks on the Pratt Street straight, although the damp surface meant that most took a cautious approach during the first half hour.

Tony Kanaan had lowered the benchmark to 1m31.9703s when James Hinchcliffe bolted on a set of slicks and went 3.7s quicker, triggering a rush to pitlane and an ongoing succession of plunging lap times.

Current championship leader Will Power finished the morning with the 15th-fastest lap.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Ryan Briscoe Penske Dallara-Chevy 1m19.7635s 2. Mike Conway Foyt Dallara-Honda 1m19.7646s + 0.0011s 3. Helio Castroneves Penske Dallara-Chevy 1m20.0197s + 0.2562s 4. Takuma Sato Rahal Dallara-Honda 1m20.2109s + 0.4474s 5. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon Dallara-Chevy 1m20.2666s + 0.5031s 6. Tony Kanaan KV Dallara-Chevy 1m20.2786s + 0.5151s 7. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Dallara-Honda 1m20.3769s + 0.6134s 8. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Dallara-Chevy 1m20.3935s + 0.6300s 9. Justin Wilson Coyne Dallara-Honda 1m20.4313s + 0.6678s 10. Scott Dixon Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m20.4606s + 0.6971s 11. James Jakes Coyne Dallara-Honda 1m20.4621s + 0.6986s 12. Rubens Barrichello KV Dallara-Chevy 1m20.6252s + 0.8617s 13. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Dallara-Chevy 1m20.6356s + 0.8721s 14. Graham Rahal Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m20.6572s + 0.8937s 15. Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevy 1m20.6916s + 0.9281s 16. Charlie Kimball Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m21.0125s + 1.2490s 17. Marco Andretti Andretti Dallara-Chevy 1m21.0232s + 1.2597s 18. Alex Tagliani Herta Dallara-Honda 1m21.2063s + 1.4428s 19. Oriol Servia Panther/DRR Dallara-Chevy 1m21.2168s + 1.4533s 20. Simona de Silvestro HVM Dallara-Lotus 1m21.3321s + 1.5686s 21. Dario Franchitti Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m21.8335s + 2.0700s 22. Bruno Junqueira Fisher Dallara-Honda 1m21.8953s + 2.1318s 23. JR Hildebrand Panther Dallara-Chevy 1m22.6200s + 2.8565s 24. Ed Carpenter Carpenter Dallara-Chevy 1m22.7740s + 3.0105s 25. EJ Viso KV Dallara-Chevy 
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Series IndyCar
Author Mark Glendenning
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