IRL: St. Pete: Honda Friday report

Dario Franchitti Heads Opening Day at St. Petersburg Confirming his reputation as one of the Indy Racing League's fastest road racers, Dario Franchitti headed the field Friday as practice began for the second annual Honda Grand Prix of St.

Dario Franchitti Heads Opening Day at St. Petersburg

Confirming his reputation as one of the Indy Racing League's fastest road racers, Dario Franchitti headed the field Friday as practice began for the second annual Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Andretti Green Racing driver, who set fastest race lap here last year en route to a third-place finish, posted a quick time of 1:02.796 in the second of two practice sessions on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit, just two-tenths of a second off last year's pole winning time.

Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar Series champion, was second fastest with the 2004 champ, Tony Kanaan, rounding out the top three. Although he missed most of the second session due to minor mechanical issues, Helio Castroneves still finished the day fourth overall on the strength of his morning practice time.

Buddy Rice held down the fifth positions for Rahal Letterman Racing, while Kosuke Matsuura improved significantly from the morning practice, moving up from 11th to 6th on the day for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.

Activities continue here in Florida on Saturday, with practice in the morning, followed by qualifying to set the 19-car starting field for Sunday's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Dario Franchitti (#27 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Andretti Green Racing Honda) fastest in Friday practice: "The car's been quick all day; we had absolutely no problems at all. We just made a few 'tweaks' to it as the day progressed and put up a pretty good time. The whole Andretti Green Racing team has been working very, very hard on improving our road course setup. We weren't satisfied with our performance in the pre-season tests, so this is definitely a nice way to start the weekend."

-honda

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Jim Beam