Sao Paulo IndyCar: Will Power fastest in first practice

Will Power set the pace in the opening practice session for this weekend's IndyCar race at the Sao Paulo street circuit

Sao Paulo IndyCar: Will Power fastest in first practice

The Australian, who is the only driver ever to have won at the track, topped the times with a best lap of 1m21.8517s.

Earlier, he had suffered a brief scare when he went off at Turn 11, but he escaped damage and his car was cleared under local yellows - just as it was when Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves did exactly the same thing shortly afterwards.

Power's time left him 0.04 seconds ahead of nearest challenger Josef Newgarden's Sarah Fisher Hartman entry, while Sebastien Bourdais was able to claim the third-best lap for Dragon, ahead of Ganassi's Dario Franchitti, who had led proceedings earlier on.

The session ended under a red flag when Simon Pagenaud crashed into the barriers at the exit of Turn 2 just as the final seconds were ticking down.

Pagenaud was unhurt and still finished the morning with the seventh-fastest lap, but the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport team has a lot of work ahead to get his car repaired for second practice in two hours' time.

That wasn't the only SPM-related incident, with Pagenaud's team-mate Tristan Vautier having earlier glanced the wall just moments after setting what was then the second-quickest time. He sustained a broken rear wing, but after pitting for repairs was able to rejoin the session.

Tony Kanaan, who suffered ligament damage to his hand in a crash at Long Beach two weeks ago, came into the weekend admitting to concerns about how the injury would stand up to the demands of the Sao Paulo layout, but the Brazilian ended the morning an encouraging sixth-fastest.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                   Time        Gap
 1.  Will Power           Penske Dallara-Chevy       1m21.8517s
 2.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher Dallara-Honda       1m21.8976s  + 0.0459s
 3.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon Dallara-Chevy       1m22.0495s  + 0.1978s
 4.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m22.0543s  + 0.2026s
 5.  JR Hildebrand        Panther Dallara-Chevy      1m22.1400s  + 0.2883s
 6.  Tony Kanaan          KV Dallara-Chevy           1m22.1496s  + 0.2979s
 7.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Dallara-Honda      1m22.1716s  + 0.3199s
 8.  Takuma Sato          Foyt Dallara-Honda         1m22.2408s  + 0.3891s
 9.  Justin Wilson        Coyne Dallara-Honda        1m22.2813s  + 0.4296s
10.  Helio Castroneves    Penske Dallara-Chevy       1m22.3418s  + 0.4901s
11.  Tristan Vautier      Schmidt Dallara-Honda      1m22.3519s  + 0.5002s
12.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m22.3666s  + 0.5149s
13.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m22.3679s  + 0.5162s
14.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m22.3740s  + 0.5223s
15.  EJ Viso              Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m22.3807s  + 0.5290s
16.  Graham Rahal         Rahal Dallara-Honda        1m22.4790s  + 0.6273s
17.  Simona de Silvestro  KV Dallara-Chevy           1m22.5143s  + 0.6626s
18.  Alex Tagliani        Herta Dallara-Honda        1m22.5892s  + 0.7375s
19.  James Jakes          Rahal Dallara-Honda        1m22.5933s  + 0.7416s
20.  Oriol Servia         Panther DRR Dallara-Chevy  1m22.7252s  + 0.8735s
21.  Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon Dallara-Chevy       1m22.9135s  + 1.0618s
22.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m23.1952s  + 1.3435s
23.  Ana Beatriz          Coyne Dallara-Honda        1m23.2639s  + 1.4122s
24.  Marco Andretti       Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m23.3269s  + 1.4752s
25.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter Dallara-Chevy    1m23.4361s  + 1.5844s
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Sao Paulo IndyCar: Will Power stays on top in practice two

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