Sato quickest in warm-up as Servia subs for Power

Takuma Sato topped the timesheets in the final practice of the Verizon IndyCar Series opener in St. Petersburg as poleman Will Power sat out the session.

Power, who demolished the track record on his way to pole position on Saturday, continued to suffer from nausea overnight, with the team opting to give his #12 Penske-Chevrolet entry to Oriol Servia for the session.

The decision on whether the Aussie will take the start in search of his third St. Pete victory is still to be made. His warm-up replacement Servia placed ninth, just 0.022s off the pace.

The early pace in final practice was set by the Penske-Chevrolet's Helio Castroneves with a high 1m02s, with the red flag coming out shortly after for Rahal Letterman Lanigan newcomer Spencer Pigot.

Pigot came to a halt at Turn 9 and stalled his #16 car, forcing a stoppage in track action for several minutes while his car was being re-fired.

When the action was back underway, Josef Newgarden took over out front – but times began to go down significantly in the second half of the run and, with 10 minutes to go, it was Andretti-Honda driver Marco Andretti who led with a 1m01.662s.

In the closing stages, Takuma Sato and Newgarden both surpassed Andretti - and while Graham Rahal entered the top spot with five minutes to go, Sato was back into the lead shortly thereafter with a lap just 0.0001s better.

And Sato's 1m01.236s would remain as the benchmark when the red flag came out with a minute to go for Juan Pablo Montoya stuffing it into the tyre barrier, ending the session.

Rahal placed second, with Newgarden, Andretti and reigning champion Scott Dixon making up the top five.

Simon Pagenaud, who will start the race form the front row, took sixth, with Mikhail Aleshin in seventh despite two trips down the escape road.

Warm-up results:

Pos.DriverTeamTime
1 14 Japon Takuma Sato  Foyt (H) 1:01.2361
2 15 États-Unis Graham Rahal  Rahal (H) 1:01.2362
3 21 États-Unis Josef Newgarden  Carpenter (C) 1:01.5723
4 27 États-Unis Marco Andretti  Andretti (H) 1:01.6619
5 9 Nouvelle-Zélande Scott Dixon  Ganassi (C) 1:01.7303
6 22 France Simon Pagenaud  Penske (C) 1:01.7449
7 7 Russie Mikhail Aleshin  Schmidt (H) 1:01.9348
8 11 France Sebastien Bourdais  KVSH (C) 1:01.9545
9 12 Espagne Oriol Servia  Penske (C) 1:01.9769
10 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe  Schmidt (H) 1:02.0060
11 3 Brésil Helio Castroneves  Penske (C) 1:02.0226
12 10 Brésil Tony Kanaan  Ganassi (C) 1:02.1714
13 2 Colombie Juan Pablo Montoya  Penske (C) 1:02.1894
14 83 États-Unis Charlie Kimball  Ganassi (C) 1:02.2448
15 19 Italie Luca Filippi  Coyne (H) 1:02.3099
16 98 États-Unis Alexander Rossi  Andretti/Herta (H) 1:02.3100
17 18 États-Unis Conor Daly  Coyne (H) 1:02.3578
18 28 États-Unis Ryan Hunter-Reay  Andretti (H) 1:02.3932
19 16 États-Unis Spencer Pigot  Rahal (H) 1:02.4013
20 8 Royaume-Uni Max Chilton  Ganassi (C) 1:02.6161
21 41 Royaume-Uni Jack Hawksworth  Foyt (H) 1:02.7098
22 26 ColombieCarlos Munoz  Andretti (H) 1:02.7982

 

(C) = Chevrolet, (H) = Honda

 

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event St. Pete
Track St. Petersburg Street Course
Drivers Takuma Sato , Graham Rahal , Josef Newgarden
Teams A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Article type Practice report