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Danica Patrick has topped Thursday’s first practice session for this weekend’s IndyCar Series finale in Las Vegas. Behind the Andretti Autosport car, championship rivals Dario Franchitti and Will Power managed respective ninth and 14th places.
Despite being one of the final drivers to hit the track, Patrick topped the timesheets with a best effort of 24.735 seconds, with Oriol Servia of Newman/Haas and the second Andretti car of Ryan Hunter-Reay both within one tenth of the best effort.
It was a promising session for all four Andretti machines, with the rapid pace being confirmed by fifth and seventh-placed Mike Conway and Marco Andretti, with Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves filling in the gaps for Ganassi and Penske.
In the cases of the title contenders, reigning double Champion Franchitti was just one tenth of a second off the pace, with Power a further tenth behind.
The session was not without its dramas, as a full-course caution period lasted for the best part of half an hour after fluid leaked from E.J. Viso’s KV Racing car.
Second practice begins at 12:30pm local time (BST -6) on Friday
|4.||S. Dixon||Chip Ganassi||00:24.849||57|
|9.||D. Franchitti||Chip Ganassi||00:24.874||54|
|10.||G. Rahal||Chip Ganassi||00:24.941||40|
|5 May||Hinchcliffe claims last-lap victory in Sao Paulo|
|4 May||Hunter-Reay sets lap-record to take pole|
|8 Apr||Champion Hunter-Reay wins in Alabama|
|6 Apr||Hunter-Reay grabs pole position in Alabama|
|IndyCar Series: Las Vegas Motor Speedway|
|18 Oct '11||Mann and Hildebrand dispatched from hospital|
|18 Oct '11||Blundell: Vegas was a recipe for disaster|
|17 Oct '11||'Ridiculous' IndyCar racing not safe, says Scheckter|
|17 Oct '11||Power out of hospital, Mann and Hildebrand remain|
|12 Jan||Patrick rules out Indy 500 entry this season|
|13 Oct '11||Patrick heads opening Vegas practice|
|22 May '11||Conway and Hunter-Reay out of Indy 500|
|7 Mar '11||Drivers to test at Sebring on Wednesday|
|6 May||Video: Sao Paulo IndyCar highlights|
|5 May||Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sao Paulo|
|1 May||Mann gets third Coyne seat for Indy 500|
|24 Apr||Jourdain gets Indy 500 outing with RLL|
|More Danica Patrick photos|