Will Power edges out Dario Franchitti to top first Baltimore practice

Will Power got IndyCar's first visit to the streets of Baltimore underway by topping Friday's delayed opening practice session

Will Power edges out Dario Franchitti to top first Baltimore practice

The Penske driver spent much of the 90 minutes trading turns at the top of the timing screens with title rival Dario Franchitti before finally settling matters in the final moments with a 1m23.6130s, putting him just 0.0783s clear of the Ganassi driver's time.

A late push from Helio Castroneves was rewarded with third ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had enjoyed a brief stint on top before being demoted by Penske and Ganassi.

Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport team-mate Mike Conway was fifth quickest, with Ganassi's Graham Rahal sixth, ahead of KV's Takuma Sato. James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top 10 for Newman/Haas, KV and Dale Coyne Racing respectively.

The track claimed a couple of high-profile scalps early on, starting with Ganassi's Scott Dixon. The New Zealander took the unfortunate honour of being the first driver to crash at the circuit when he clouted the outside barrier at Turn 4, ending his afternoon after just three laps.

Ryan Briscoe's participation was cut short soon afterwards, the Penske racer clipping the tyres on the way into the Turn 6 chicane. Both incidents triggered full-course yellows, as did a spin from Tomas Scheckter (Sam Schmidt Dragon) at Turn 8 and, later, simultaneous spins at Turns 1 and 6 by Ernesto Viso (KV) and Giorgio Pantano (Dreyer & Reinbold), although all were eventually able to get going again.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske 1m22.138s 2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m22.216s + 0.078s 3. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m22.285s + 0.147s 4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m22.603s + 0.465s 5. Mike Conway Andretti 1m22.726s + 0.588s 6. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m22.739s + 0.601s 7. Takuma Sato KV 1m22.971s + 0.833s 8. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m23.008s + 0.870s 9. Tony Kanaan KV 1m23.199s + 1.061s 10. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m23.303s + 1.165s 11. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m23.373s + 1.235s 12. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 1m23.408s + 1.270s 13. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m23.696s + 1.558s 14. Giorgio Pantano Dreyer & Reinbold 1m23.732s + 1.594s 15. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 1m23.767s + 1.629s 16. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m23.781s + 1.644s 17. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m23.812s + 1.674s 18. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m24.203s + 2.065s 19. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m24.209s + 2.071s 20. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m24.246s + 2.109s 21. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m24.268s + 2.130s 22. James Jakes Dayle Coyne 1m24.408s + 2.270s 23. Ernesto Viso KV 1m24.414s + 2.276s 24. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m24.500s + 2.362s 25. Martin Plowman AFS/Sam Shmidt 1m25.051s + 2.913s 26. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m25.070s + 2.932s 27. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m25.894s + 3.756s 28. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher 1m26.026s + 3.888s 
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