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Power quick to go top in Baltimore

Will Power was quickly on top in the sole Friday practice session on the new street course ahead of Sunday's Baltimore Grand Prix, with Dario Franchitti second-fastest.
Just because it's a brand new circuit that no one has ever run on before doesn't mean it's going to stop Will Power from assuming his familiar position at the top of the timesheets.

His late lap of 1:22.1379s was enough to put him 0.0783s ahead of Ganassi arch-rival Dario Franchitti with whom he'd been trading the top spot for much of the 75-minute single practice session of the day, with Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay also looking strong on the brand new street course.

"I think it will be a great race!," said Power. "You are working the entire time, and it is a pretty cool track."

Power said was happy with his first experience of the new circuit: "They did a really good job creating the circuit. It takes a lot of commitment and there are several technical bits, it's bumpy ... It is very tricky in certain places, but that is typical of a street course."

Dario Franchitti was still catching is breath after a busy, compressed Friday session. "Well, that was pretty busy out there! I'm just figuring my way around, I still think there's a couple of areas that I could improve on. It's a challenge for the engineers [and] for the drivers."

The Friday schedule was extensively rewritten after the track preparations were not complete in time on Friday morning, but shortly after noon the circuit was at last ready to get running underway with the support events. Finally at 4.30pm local time (9.30pm BST) the IndyCars came out for what turned out to the the sole track session of the day after all, the delays having squeezed out plans for a second hour-long practice later in the early evening.

"It was a tough day for the fans because of the wait, but they stuck it out and on that first lap the stands were pretty full there," said Dario. "We want to make sure that it's a good day for the fans since they're very excited to be here. We're glad to be here, we're looking forward to it."

Drivers struggled with the tight, technical corners and the incredibly bumpy street surface, and inevitably some drivers fell foul of the rough edges inevitable on any new circuit.

"It was a tough practice session to get a rhythm on because it was interrupted so much by yellows," said Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay. "But we're fourth right now and I think we have a pretty good starting point ... Hopefully tomorrow we'll make the usual steps that we do on street courses and keep moving forward."

There were two lengthy early cautions, beginning with Scott Dixon's Ganassi car which crashed in turn 4 after he overcorrected through the narrow entrance. He missed the tyre wall and ended up impacting the wall, at a point of the track so narrow that adding tyres was simply not viable.




Related Pictures

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A pack of cars run across the new kerbing during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Back in action after last week`s immigration problems, Simona de Silvestro heads out from pit road during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Martin Plowman in pit road preparing for a run during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti and the latest livery for the #10 Ganassi car during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power on track during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens 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 with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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