Clocks in third fastest after two sessions
Will Power (above) led the way during the two Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions on Thursday as Team Penske began preparations for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Power owned the third-fastest lap of the day, while teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves clocked in with the 13th and 14th best times, respectively.
Power, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader by 18 points through the first three races of the 2014 season, posted a time of 1:10.5672 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course in the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
"The No. 12 Verizon Chevy team did a great job today and at the end there, the car was definitely getting close to where we need it to be,” said Power. “Overall, we had a good day. We definitely made some gains and have a little bit more to go. Tomorrow, I think the weather will be a lot different than today, but we'll do our best."
Montoya recorded a lap of 1:10.8707 in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. The former CART Series champion and Formula One race winner is the only driver in the field to have competed on the IMS road course when it hosted the F1 U.S. Grand Prix.
“The track was pretty hot today, so we had to change the car over a little bit from what we had in the test session last week,” stated Montoya. “Last week was frigid compared to what we have for conditions today. We spent the first session just trying to figure out what we needed because it was almost like starting over. I felt we really gained a lot in the second session. It’s hard to judge where we are because I think other teams used more tires than we did. We haven’t really used any tires today so it doesn’t really show how good we are, but I think we have a really good No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet.”
Castroneves, who won the last time the series made its debut at a new road course when he was victorious at Barber Motorsports Park in 2010, posted a lap of 1:10.9026 in the No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
“The day was good,” said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 champion. “We tried a few things, some of them were a little crazy, but we’re trying to prepare for qualifying tomorrow. We weren’t as fast as we would have liked to be but we still have a practice session in the morning to work some things out. Overall, with today being our first official practice sessions on the road course, I’m happy with where the No. 3 Verizon Chevy ended up. I really want to be the first winner of this race so we are going to give it all we have!”
The Verizon IndyCar Series will hold another practice session on Friday morning at 10 am ET before qualifying for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis will get the green flag at 2 pm ET.
Saturday’s race broadcast will begin at 3:30 pm ET on ABC-TV.