Rahal tops second St Pete practice

Last year's race winner Graham Rahal led the way in the second Friday practice session for the IndyCar Series opener at St Petersburg

Rahal tops second St Pete practice

The Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver was followed by his 2008 team-mate Justin Wilson, who produced a spectacular performance for the small Dale Coyne Racing team by taking second, just 0.1803 seconds down on Rahal's time.

Morning practice pace-setter Dario Franchitti was third for Ganassi, having topped much of the second session, ahead of HVM's EJ Viso and Andretti Green's Tony Kanaan, who had missed all of first practice.

Ryan Briscoe (Penske) and champion Scott Dixon (Ganassi) both had excursions on their way to sixth and seventh, as did eighth-placed Will Power in the second Penske entry.

Foyt's Vitor Meira took ninth despite being involved in a pitlane tangle with AGR's Hideki Mutoh and Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon that saw the latter pushed into the wall, breaking his car's suspension. Mutoh was held responsible for the incident and ordered to sit out 10 minutes of the session as a penalty.

Danica Patrick had a quick spin on her way to 10th for Andretti Green, ahead of Dreyer & Reinbold duo Darren Manning and Mike Conway, with the GP2 graduate the fastest of the rookies.

The pitlane tangle caused one of three full course yellows during the hour-long session. NASCAR convert Stanton Barrett triggered the other two, having a pair of minor incidents as he acclimatised to open wheel and street course racing.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m03.4078s 2. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne 1m03.5881s + 0.1803s 3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m03.7007s + 0.2929s 4. EJ Viso HVM 1m03.8156 + 0.4078s 5. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m03.8454s + 0.4376s 6. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m03.8603s + 0.4525s 7. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m04.0071s + 0.5993s 8. Will Power Penske 1m04.0851s + 0.6773s 9. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m04.1641s + 0.7563s 10. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m04.2777s + 0.8699s 11. Darren Manning Dreyer & Reinbold 1m04.2820s + 0.8742s 12. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m04.3041s + 0.8963s 13. Alex Tagliani Conquest 1m04.5407s + 1.1329s 14. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m04.5955s + 1.1877s 15. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m04.6573s + 1.2495s 16. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m04.7011s + 1.2933s 17. Mario Moraes KV 1m04.7751s + 1.3673s 18. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m04.7968s + 1.3890s 19. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m04.9190s + 1.5112s 20. Ryan Hunter-Reay Vision 1m04.9882s + 1.5804s 21. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m06.0942s + 2.6864s 22. Stanton Barrett 3G 1m10.3202s + 6.9124s 
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