James Hinchcliffe heads final IndyCar practice at New Hampshire

James Hinchcliffe was a surprise pace-setter in the final IndyCar practice session at New Hampshire as the Newman/Haas team served notice of its intent to cause an upset

James Hinchcliffe heads final IndyCar practice at New Hampshire

The Canadian had been solidly inside the top 10 in both of Thursday's first two sessions, but improved his relative pace considerably to lap the oval in 21.649s - 0.144s faster than Chip Ganassi driver Graham Rahal.

Maintaining his own strong form throughout the weekend so far, KV Racing's Tony Kanaan was third fastest while Oriol Servia made sure both Newman/Haas cars were at the sharp end with the fourth best time.

Takuma Sato was fifth quickest for KV with Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay next up.

The best of the drivers expected to challenge for victory was Ganassi's Scott Dixon in seventh, while his championship leading team-mate Dario Franchitti - quickest in both Thursday sessions - was only 11th.

Between the pair were Penske team-mates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power and JR Hildebrand's Panther car.

Britain's James Jakes was an encouraging 23th in his Dale Coyne Dallara while Helio Castroneves was well down in 18th for Penske.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas Racing 21.6492 87 2. Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing 21.6636 + 0.0144 86 3. Tony Kanaan KV Racing 21.6649 + 0.0157 40 4. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas Racing 21.7428 + 0.0936 74 5. Takuma Sato KV Racing 21.8013 + 0.1521 73 6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 21.8044 + 0.1552 63 7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 21.8064 + 0.1572 64 8. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 21.8543 + 0.2051 72 9. Will Power Team Penske 21.8944 + 0.2452 80 10. Mike Conway Andretti Autosport 21.9147 + 0.2655 60 11. JR Hildebrand Panther Racing 21.9542 + 0.3050 69 12. Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 21.9587 + 0.3095 40 13. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing 21.9984 + 0.3492 63 14. James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing 22.0330 + 0.3838 64 15. Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 22.1543 + 0.5051 72 16. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing 22.1750 + 0.5258 61 17. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 22.1847 + 0.5355 94 18. Ernesto Viso KV Racing 22.1851 + 0.5359 67 19. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports 22.2262 + 0.5770 72 20. Helio Castroneves Team Penske 22.2285 + 0.5793 77 21. Vitor Meira AJ Foyt Enterprises 22.2333 + 0.5841 74 22. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 22.3175 + 0.6683 63 23. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 22.5186 + 0.8694 87 24. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher Racing 22.7120 + 1.0628 88 25. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest Racing 22.7725 + 1.1233 83 26. Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing 22.8188 + 1.1696 79 27. Pippa Mann Rahal Letterman Lanigan 23.2007 + 1.5515 90 
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Dario Franchitti stays on top in second IndyCar practice at New Hampshire

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Dario Franchitti storms to his second pole of 2011 at New Hampshire

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