Hunter-Reay tops his Andretti Autosport teammates in Friday practice at St. Pete

2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the season opener's first day of practice with the second fastest time.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
Hunter-Reay had a strong showing today, proving he is ready to defend the No. 1. The American racer topped the charts in the morning second and placed second is the afternoon, only .1785 seconds behind the session leader in his Chevrolet-powered DHL machine.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

"It feels great to be in the first official IndyCar session of the year. It's still early days, we've only done a total of five runs so far between the two sessions. The guys have done a great job in the offseason, the car has a lot of grip in it, but we just need to refine it a bit. We need to make it work for the drivers where they need it. We're struggling a little bit coming off the corners, so we know there's lap time there, we know where it is, we just need to go get it."

James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Chevrolet
Hinchcliffe recorded a best time good enough for second position in today's morning session on the streets of St. Pete, he finished the day ranked eighth in the combined standings with his Chevy.

"Overall it was a pretty good day for the Go Daddy car. We unloaded with a fairly strong setup, and this morning the track was really great. Everybody was kind of blowing the cobwebs out and getting used to the circuit again. One of the great things about having four cars is that we can try a bunch of different things, and now we get to take the best developments off each of the four cars and put them all together and try to make a strong package for tomorrow."

Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
Andretti put on a display of speed and skill today by finishing both practice sessions inside the top 10. Showing more determination than ever, Andretti is looking forward to a strong start of the 2013 season with a victory at St. Petersburg.

"I think we are within striking distance, which is all I can ask for on day one. A half second is a lot, but at the same time it's not. Obviously a half second is ten positions, but a half second is easier to find. I've made improvements on myself. The direction and set up that Ryan (Hunter-Reay) has is what we will take for the RC Chevy towards qualifying and into the race on Sunday."

E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
Fitting right in with the rest of the Andretti Autosport crew, Viso finished fourth in this morning's practice session, while his teammates were P1, P2 and P10.

"We had a pretty good morning finishing fourth - it was a good performance for the team. There were three of us in the Top Four so that's telling us that we have some good fundamentals in the car. In the second session we tried experimenting with some other changes which we ended with the conclusion that they were not the way to go. So today the plan is to regroup the whole team and start making some decisions for tomorrow based on the experiences that we acquired today during the two practice sessions."

Andretti Autosport

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Marco Andretti , Eric Gilbert , James Hinchcliffe
Teams Andretti Autosport
Article type Practice report
Tags andretti, andretti autosport, chevrolet, hinchcliffe, hunter-reay, indycar, izod, st. petersburg, viso