IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power carried the momentum he built up in Brazil back to Florida as he set the pace in practice ahead of round two of the season in St Petersburg.
The Australian, who won the season-opener two weeks ago in Sao Paulo, topped the timesheets at the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg with a best lap of 1min 02.3200secs in the #12 Team Penske machine.
"It was a good day," Power reported, "We are getting the car better each session. After this run, the car is more like what I like to drive. It feels good. There is a long weekend ahead of us, with weather and everything, but I am feeling good going into tomorrow."
It was a good day for the antipodeans as Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon also proved quick around the 14-turn street course, clocking the second fastest time of the day at 1min 03.0299secs, although the Kiwi wasn't happy at being nearly eight-tenths shy of Power.
"Practice went okay, but the car was not great," he claimed, "We had quite a few issues in the morning session, and the second session didn't start too well. We ended up second, but we are still a long ways from Will. Dario hit the wall, and I was expecting that he would have been pretty quick, as well, so we have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, we can carry some of the momentum from today into tomorrow and make some good changes."
In team-mate Dario Franchitti's absence, after the Scot smote the barriers and wound up only 18th on the timesheets, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Justin Wilson - who finished third in last year's race - claimed a similar position after practice.
"From the morning to the afternoon, we made some geometry changes, and the car had good balance," the Briton reported, "We just need to work on the brakes, and we will be right on. We have a chance to be a top-three car and, with any luck, win this thing."
Andretti Autosport's Tony Kanaan and team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was runner-up in both last year's St Petersburg race and in Brazil two weeks ago, were fourth and fifth respectively.
"I'm pleased, but it's just Friday," Kanaan cautioned, "We don't need to get ahead of ourselves yet, but it was a good start. The team, as a whole, is very competitive, which is good. We can feed off each other and, now, we just need to get all the data together, make the right changes to the 7-Eleven car for the morning and get ready to get into the Firestone Fast Six."