St Petersburg IndyCar: Takuma Sato quickest in final practice

Takuma Sato topped the final IndyCar practice session before qualifying for this weekend's season-opener in St Petersburg

St Petersburg IndyCar: Takuma Sato quickest in final practice

Sato, who is making his debut with AJ Foyt Racing this weekend, moved to the top with a lap of 1m01.5293s less than three minutes before the session ended.

Will Power had previously been the pacesetter, and while the Australian survived a couple of lairy moments in a last-gasp quest for more time, Sato's lap remained unbeaten. It is the first time that a Honda-powered driver has led a session this weekend.

Power was left in second for Penske, his best lap 0.2 seconds down on Sato's, with James Hinchcliffe third ahead of Tony Kanaan, Sebastian Saavedra, and Marco Andretti.

Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay survived a trip down the Turn 4 escape road to post the seventh-fastest lap, leaving Dario Franchitti, Josef Newgarden and early session leader Simona de Silvestro to complete the top 10.

The session was interrupted twice by stoppages, the first coming early on when Newgarden and Ana Beatriz found themselves sharing a run-off area, although neither car appeared to have sustained damage.

It was a different story a few minutes later for EJ Viso. He suffered a suspected right-front suspension failure on the way into Turn 10 and crashed heavily.

The resultant damage leaves the Andretti Autosport team scrambling to get the Venezuelan's car repaired in time for qualifying later on Saturday afternoon.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                   Time        Gap
 1.  Takuma Sato          Foyt Dallara-Honda         1m01.5293s
 2.  Will Power           Penske Dallara-Chevy       1m01.7386s  + 0.2093s
 3.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m01.8971s  + 0.3678s
 4.  Tony Kanaan          KV Dallara-Chevy           1m01.9087s  + 0.3794s
 5.  Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon Dallara-Chevy       1m01.9457s  + 0.4164s
 6.  Marco Andretti       Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m01.9880s  + 0.4587s
 7.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m02.0207s  + 0.4914s
 8.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m02.0490s  + 0.5197s
 9.  Josef Newgarden      Panther Dallara-Honda      1m02.0981s  + 0.5688s
10.  Simona de Silvestro  KV Dallara-Chevy           1m02.1157s  + 0.5864s
11.  Graham Rahal         Rahal Dallara-Honda        1m02.1223s  + 0.5930s
12.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon Dallara-Chevy       1m02.1459s  + 0.6166s
13.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m02.1850s  + 0.6557s
14.  James Jakes          Rahal Dallara-Honda        1m02.2040s  + 0.6747s
15.  Tristan Vautier      Schmidt Dallara-Honda      1m02.2576s  + 0.7283s
16.  Helio Castroneves    Penske Dallara-Chevy       1m02.2606s  + 0.7313s
17.  Oriol Servia         Panther/DRR Dallara-Chevy  1m02.3027s  + 0.7734s
18.  JR Hildebrand        Panther Dallara-Chevy      1m02.3174s  + 0.7881s
19.  Justin Wilson        Coyne Dallara-Honda        1m02.3795s  + 0.8502s
20.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Dallara-Honda      1m02.3936s  + 0.8643s
21.  Alex Tagliani        Herta Dallara-Honda        1m02.4715s  + 0.9422s
22.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi Dallara-Honda      1m02.5344s  + 1.0051s
23.  EJ Viso              Andretti Dallara-Chevy     1m03.0992s  + 1.5699s
24.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter Dallara-Chevy    1m03.1658s  + 1.6365s
25.  Ana Beatriz          Coyne Dallara-Honda        1m03.3169s  + 1.7876s
shares
comments
De Silvestro says she needs new approach for IndyCar qualifying
Previous article

De Silvestro says she needs new approach for IndyCar qualifying

Next article

St Petersburg IndyCar: Will Power starts season with pole

St Petersburg IndyCar: Will Power starts season with pole
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021