Yesterday was an open-test day for the IZOD IndyCar teams but today was the official practice at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Penske Racing's Will Power set the fastest time for this weekend's Honda Indy 400.
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Will Power's lap of 1 minute, 05.4332 seconds on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was the fastest among 24 drivers participating in practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 4.
Power's lap in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car was more than two-tenths of a second faster than his 2012 pole-winning lap time. The track record of 1:05.347, held by Dario Franchitti (August 1999) and Gil de Ferran (August 2000), will be challenged in the three rounds of knockout qualifications for the Verizon P1 Award on Aug. 3.
"We got a good time in at the end. A few mistakes during the session but we're narrowing it down," Power said. "I'd love nothing more than to get on the pole here and have a chance to win a race. But good so far, and we'll keep working hard."
Scott Dixon, who has won the past three races to vault to second in the championship standings with six races remaining, was second fast (1:05.4469) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. In addition to seeking his third consecutive victory at Mid-Ohio (and fifth overall), Dixon is seeking to become the first driver under INDYCAR sanction to win four races in a row. Sebastien Bourdais won four consecutive events in the Champ Car World Series in 2006.
Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was third (1:05.5018) in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport, while Franchitti was fourth (1:05.7019) in the No. 10 GE car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Luca Filippi, who hours earlier was confirmed by team co-owner Bryan Herta as the driver of the No. 98 Barracuda Racing car for the 90-lap race, checked in fifth on the time sheet at 1:05.7364. Filippi, an 11-time winner in five seasons in GP2, tested the car for the first time July 31 at Mid-Ohio.
Six different teams were represented in the top 10 as 24 drivers completed 797 laps combined in the two sessions. The top 18 cars were separated by less than a second.
Also on Aug. 2, Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader Carlos Munoz was fastest in practice for the Mid-Ohio 100 with a lap of 1 minute, 13.5625 seconds in the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport.
Jack Hawksworth, coming off a victory at Toronto on July 13, was .1921 of a second behind in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian car. Axcil Jefferies, a 19-year-old from Zimbabwe who is making his series debut, posted the third-fastest time of 1:13.8848 in the No. 28 Starting Grid JMM/BHA with Curb-Agajanian car.