Penske's Will Power Tops St Pete Practice

Penske's Will Power Tops St Pete Practice

By Allan Brewer, IndyCar correspondent

Story Highlights

  • Power fastest
  • Conway second fast

Penske's Will Power Tops St Pete Practice

Will Power, Team Penske
Will Power, Team Penske

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Penske Racing's Will Power set the fastest time in Saturday morning IndyCar Series practice with a best lap time of 1:02.717 on the street course at St. Petersburg, Florida. The result was good for a speed of 103.322 mph, fastest of the St. Pete Grand Prix weekend so far but still 2 mph shy of Power's pole-sitting mark of 105.397 mph set in 2010.

Andretti Autosport's Mike Conway (1:03.061, 102.758 mph) was second-quick, followed by Power teammate Helio Castroneves (1:03.166, 102.587 mph).

Ryan Briscoe and Newman Haas Racing's Oriol Servia rounded out the top five ahead of afternoon qualifying at 2:30 PM EDT.

Dario Franchitti made contact with the concrete retaining wall surrounding the St. Petersburg street course at turn 11, dislodging the rear wing from his No. 10 Ganassi Racing car. Franchitti was unhurt. On replay, it appeared Franchitti struck the rumble-strip berm in the chicane to bring about the incident.

A loose rumble-strip (also called alligator-strip) in the Turn 4 berm loosened from the street course and brought yellow for repairs for the second consecutive day.

Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport
Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Spins and black-walls of the white concrete temporary barriers were frequent. Rafael Matos, Ana Beatriz, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, and Danica Patrick (among others) took missteps around the 1.8 mile, tightly drawn and twisting course alongside Tampa Bay.

EJ Viso also struck the retaining wall after a mechanical failure. The left front suspension and sidepod of the KV Racing Lotus No. 59 car suffered moderate damage. The accident was Viso's third of the weekend.

The weather at the start of the 10:10 AM practice session was a cloudy, humid 70 degrees F. Track temperature stood at 92 degrees F.

Online video-stream viewers were shut out of today's practice due to a contractural clause enforce by Versus network, the television rights-holder for some IndyCar Series events this year.

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Series INDYCAR
Tags indycar, penske, st. pete, will power