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Power tops Friday practice times

Penske's Will Power got back to old habits by topping the Friday practice timesheets, as IndyCar returned to road courses on the streets of Toronto ahead of this weekend's race.
During the first four races of the 2011 season - all of which were road and street courses - Will Power was the man to beat, and frequently no one could. After two months on ovals, where Power is markedly less dominant compared with his main title rival Dario Franchitti, the Penske driver will be relieved to be back 'home' on a road course once more.

Power set the fastest lap time of the Friday practice sessions with 1:00.5581s, a tenth of a second ahead of Scott Dixon and over four tenths faster than Dario Franchitti in third.

Not that Power was satisfied yet. "The Verizon car is good, but we are still not quick enough. "We are just a bit off the pace," he insisted. "We still have a few things in mind to improve the car."

As for that fastest time, set just before the end of the session, Power crdited that to a well-timed switch to fresh rubber. "We put tyres on there at the end of the second practice and no one else did," he explained. "It is great to be in Toronto, though, and really good to see all the fans."

"It's definitely cool to be back at a street course, especially Toronto," agreed Dixon. "It's a fun circuit. It's definitely different than the last four races with all left hand turns and now coming back to a bumpy circuit. The track seems to be a little bumpier, especially going into turn 1 and maybe down the backstraight as well. It's created a few new issues that we haven't had here before."

He was surprised by the pace of everyone in the field. "The times actually seem surprisingly quick. Even on the primary tyres, we only seems to be five-tenths off the quick times of the options."

For James Hinchcliffe it's a special occasion, marking his homecoming for the first time since he stepped up form Indy Lights to the senior series. He admitted that the leap was proving to be bigger than he'd expected, especially here on a circuit he assumed he knew well.

"I could definitely tell the difference between the Lights car and the Indy car on this track," he agreed. "This track gets tougher and tougher every year and in every [series] you move up in. We took the first session to just get used to everything."

Also doing well and bouncing back to strong form after a subdued foray on the ovals in recent weeks is Britain's Justin Wilson.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Danica Patrick crosses the start/finish line of the track on the streets of Toronto. July 2011. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Will Power (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power leads teammate Simon Pagenaud into Turn 1 during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon in pit lane (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter-Reay discuss practice at IMS (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate with champagne following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Coke Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third place finish Sunday, April 25, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon on course during qualifications for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, finishes second fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Power will start in the front row next to teammate Helio Castroneves who won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finishes third fastest during qualifying Saturday, April 24, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Pagenaud and Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power had the fastest qualifying times. Castrovenes won the pole position. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon with his Coca-Cola Chevrolet following practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls down pit lane during practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park  on Saturday April 25 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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