Sato tops practice at Edmonton
23 July 2011 – Takuma Sato topped the combined practice timesheets at Edmonton on Saturday, with officials being forced to delay on-track action until this morning due to severe Friday rainfall. The KV Racing driver posted a time of 1:18.977 to lead reigning Champion Dario Franchitti by just eight thousandths of a second, while E.J. Viso grabbed third.
Conditions had improved significantly at the Canadian track overnight, with blue skies becoming more prominent as the day progressed. Rising air and track temperatures saw most of the field significantly lower their respective morning times, with higher grip levels offering the opportunity to begin exploring the circuit's overall limits.
New Zealander Scott Dixon ended up fourth quickest overall, edging out Penske rival Will Power. Home driver Alex Tagliani impressed in sixth place, doing enough to jump ahead of Spain’s Oriol Servià, while Hélio Castroneves set the eighth fastest time in both sessions to end up just ahead of Texas-born Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Justin Wilson completed the top ten for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, stealing the position from morning pace-setter James Hinchcliffe who slipped back to 11th.
Qualifying begins at 2.30pm local time (BST -8)