Power sets early pace at Long Beach
15 April 2011 – Will Power was the fastest man during the first practice session of the weekend at Long Beach on Friday, with the Team Penske driver continuing to set the pace after his victory at the Barber Motorsports Park last Sunday. The Australian set a time of 1:11.410 to lead Ryan Hunter-Reay by 0.190 seconds, with Scott Dixon narrowly behind in third for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Conditions were pleasant as the session got underway at 10am local time (BST -8) in the state of California, with the 75 minutes of track action passing relatively smoothly. Ryan Briscoe was the only man to spin, as he lost control of his Penske machine at Turn 10, bringing out the yellow flags. After the incident, he ended his time behind the wheel in fifth place, just behind Britain’s Justin Wilson.
Mike Conway was next up in sixth, marginally ahead of Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Alex Tagliani. Hélio Castroneves was the final Penske runner in eighth, and the Brazilian will be eager to achieve a better result this time out after having to settle for seventh place in Alabama less than a week ago.
Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan followed in ninth and tenth respectively, while reigning Champion Dario Franchitti finished in 11th. Further back, the only other drama occurred when James Hinchcliffe’s Newman/Haas car developed a small fire at the rear. The 24-year-old ended the session in 24th place, and he has left his mechanics with work to do ahead of second practice.
Friday’s second practice session begins at 2:25pm local time (BST -8)