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Rahal tops Mid-Ohio Friday practice times

Graham Rahal stole the top spot in Friday practice at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with EJ Viso also putting in his fastest lap after the chequered flag to bump Dario Franchitti to third.
Graham Rahal set the top time on Friday with a 1:09.6031s in the #38 Service Central car just after the chequered flag came out at the end of the day's practice session ahead of Sunday's Honda Indy 200.

Rahal - who grew up less than 80 minutes away from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in New Albany - was just 0.049s faster than EJ Viso who popped up into second place ahead of Dario Franchitti who had looked set to take the session honours until the final seconds. Franchitti was just ahead of road course king Will Power in fourth.

"It's such a fantastic track and has a lot of history with our family," said Rahal. "It feels good to start the weekend off this way for sure. I think we showed the grip is low, but at the end of the day it felt pretty good. I can't complain too much.

"I was satisfied that we didn't run a second set of tires. I know others around us did and we were still quickest. And that lap wasn't really a good one," he said. "I think Dario was struggling and he was dropping wheels left and right and I was following him. I missed some apexes, but to get the speed out of it feels pretty good."

Franchitti agreed that he was struggling for grip at this early stage. "The track wasn't in great shape and we spent the majority of the session struggling to get grip in the GE car," he said.

Two drivers having a less happy time were Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato, who spent most of the 75 minute session sidelined - the first 45 of which were reserved for rookies and those outside the top ten - in the pits.

"We're having some electrical problems with the car so we were only able to run five laps during practice," explained Marco. "There's a disconnect of some kind between the paddle shifters and the gearbox, so basically we can't really shift. It's a shame to miss basically an entire session."

Sato's problem was engine-related. "I had an installation lap and I had just started to run a couple of laps to warm-up the car. I immediately felt that the power was down and heard a noise." The KV Racing Technology-Lotus team pushed the #5 to the garage to replace the engine overnight.

There was a brief full course caution when Ryan Briscoe spun in turn 6 on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit midway through the portion of the session open to all cars. A later spin by Sebastian Saavedra saw the #34 beached but dealt with under local waved yellows.

British driver Martin Plowman finished the session in 19th place with a lap of 1:11.1767s in his IndyCar series d├ębut.

Full times and positions available.



Related Pictures

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The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course venue sign. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Britain`s Martin Plowman during Friday practice ahead of his IndyCar Series debut at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Graham Rahal on track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, on his way to setting the fastest time in Friday practice. [Photo credit: KAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon navigates the Turn 9/9A chicane during the final practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Penske`s Will Power during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay reviews telemetry data in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay apexes the Turn 9A chicane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his Andretti Autosport Honda on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia is strapped into his Andretti Autosport Honda prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia on course during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sits in his Honda machine on pit lane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power watches track activity from his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia is strapped into his Andretti Autosport Honda prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power slides into his Team Penske Chevrolet prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti kicks up some dust in the Turn 9A chicane complex during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

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