Mar 22, 2013, 4:24 PM EDT
As could be expected, 2012 IndyCar title rivals Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay paced the timesheets for the second free practice session at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The big surprise, though, was Simona de Silvestro in third.
The Swiss driver, who now races for KV Racing Technology and with Chevrolet engines (after being with HVM Racing and Lotus last year, where her engine was the main handicap), followed up her seventh place lap in the morning quite nicely in the afternoon.
“Last year we came here and knew it would be a struggle,” she said. “This year, we came after a good Barber test and showed well right away. We were quick this morning but still had more work to do. To know we can be up there with these guys. I have to thank my sponsors of Nuclear Clean Air Energy, as they stuck with me. Hopefully we will have a good race to be proud of.”
Of course, the proverbial big dogs, in three-time defending St. Petersburg pole winner Power and reigning series champion Hunter-Reay were always likely to set the pace.
“We’re still fighting the normal things handling-wise,” said Power. “We got a good lap in early. We weren’t that good on old tires. The Honda guys seem on the back foot, but I still think it will be a tough fight.”
“It’s early still, with the track rubbering in,” added Hunter-Reay. “It’s a pretty big gap to close to will. It’s nice to be up there but it’s close throughout. If you get one corner wrong you’re eighth from second.”
Oriol Servia (Panther DRR Chevrolet) and Takuma Sato (A.J. Foyt Racing Honda) completed the top five on the day.
Chip Ganassi Racing struggled; Charlie Kimball clocked in 13th while the usually front-running Target entries were just 17th (Dario Franchitti) and 19th (Scott Dixon) in practice two.
Combined times from Practice 1 and 2 are below:
Rank Car Driver Team C/E/T Time 1. 12 Will Power Penske D/C/F 1:01.4467 2. 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti D/C/F 1:01.6252 3. 78 Simona de Silvestro KV D/C/F 1:01.6895 4. 22 Oriol Servia Panther DRR D/C/F 1:01.7650 5. 14 Takuma Sato Foyt D/H/F 1:01.7703 6. 3 Helio Castroneves Penske D/C/F 1:01.7853 7. 11 Tony Kanaan KV D/C/F 1:01.8087 8. 27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti D/C/F 1:02.0039 9. 55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt Peterson D/H/F 1:02.0459 10. 25 Marco Andretti Andretti D/C/F 1:02.0877 11. 16 James Jakes RLL D/H/F 1:02.1030 12. 77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Hamilton D/H/F 1:02.1134 13. 83 Charlie Kimball Novo Nordisk Ganassi D/H/F 1:02.1962 14. 15 Graham Rahal RLL D/H/F 1:02.3596 15. 5 EJ Viso Venezuela/Andretti/HVM D/C/F 1:02.3622 16. 19 Justin Wilson Coyne D/H/F 1:02.3833 17. 10 Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi D/H/F 1:02.4086 18. 7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon D/C/F 1:02.4166 19. 9 Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi D/H/F 1:02.5031 20. 98 Alex Tagliani Barracuda/BHA D/H/F 1:02.5098 21. 67 Josef Newgarden Fisher Hartman D/H/F 1:02.5305 22. 6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon D/C/F 1:02.5581 23. 4 JR Hildebrand Panther D/C/F 1:02.9057 24. 20 Ed Carpenter Carpenter D/C/F 1:03.1420 25. 18 Ana Beatriz Coyne D/H/F 1:03.9670
Aug 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
Update (8:30 p.m. ET): The engines have been fired and tonight’s Food City 300 is ready to roll.
Aug 22, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
The Bowtie has won the IndyCar manufacturer’s title in all three seasons since returning to North American open-wheel racing in 2012.
Aug 22, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT
Jeff Gordon looked like he had the pole for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. But Kevin Harvick had other ideas.
Aug 22, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
At 7-feet tall, ESPN NASCAR analyst, team co-owner and former NBA star Brad Daugherty is a formidable presence. He’s also known to play a practical joke every now and then.
Aug 22, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT
“Rowdy” earns the pole for tonight’s Food City 300 with a lap of 125.142 miles per hour in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Aug 22, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
In statement, Alexander Rossi takes the high road after missing out on Grand Prix debut with Marussia in Spa.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT
Late in the 50-minute session, the Roush Fenway Racing driver zipped around the half-mile oval at 131.048 mph in the No. 17 Ford Fusion.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
Here’s today’s round-up from the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
In the year of the power unit, Spa is rewarding the Mercedes-powered teams.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT
Russian GP3 debutante Konstantin Tereschenko goes for a wild ride at Spa, but mercifully emerges unscathed.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver turns a lap of 131.083 mph around the high-banked half-mile to lead Friday’s first practice session.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
As good as he may be, is Max Verstappen too young to be racing up against drivers twice his age?
Aug 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Son of ex-racer Jos set to become the youngest ever F1 driver next season at the age of 17.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Mercedes once again dominated practice, finishing first and second in both sessions on Friday at Spa.
Aug 22, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
Lotus being punished by Spa’s high-speed nature.
Aug 22, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT
Without IndyCar on track on Friday, Friday will be an abnormal day on track at Sonoma Raceway.
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