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Power continues to set Baltimore practice pace

Will Power kept control of the practice timesheets as the IndyCar drivers got their second chance to test the limits of the new street course for Sunday's Baltimore Grand Prix.
Power was quick to go to the top of the timesheets with Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais his closest competition for much of Saturday's practice, although James Hinchcliffe put in a flier to briefly go top halfway through the 60 minute session with a 1:21.9137s.

That was the fastest time by anyone on the street course up to that point in the weekend as the track continued to rubber in and got faster and faster throughout the hour, and Hinchcliffe ended up being pushed down to eighth by the end of the session despite improving his time by another quarter of a second in the meantime.

Dario Franchitti was slow to start putting in competitive fast laps and only finally popped into second spot with ten minutes remaining, albeit still 0.2217s off Power's best time of 1:21.0176s. Graham Rahal emerged in third place edging out Dixon for the spot in the final minutes.

The IndyCar drivers continued to learn the brand new street course in Baltimore, with Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves and Takuma Sato simply the first of many to repeatedly run off at turn 1 as drivers had extreme difficulty identifying the correct turn-in point for this corner.

Alex Tagliani was the first driver to trigger a full course caution when he ran off at the double chicane turn 6 after missing the left-hander, the #77's engine then dying when he tried backing up.

Marco Andretti had a more serious accident shortly after the midpoint of the session when he got unsettled over the kerbing into turn 8 and made contact with the concrete wall, heavily damaging the front end of the #26 and bringing out the second full course caution. Marco himself was quick to jump out of the cockpit and was unharmed, but took no further part in the session.

Martin Plowman suffered a flat left front tyre 12 minutes before the end of the session but was able to recover to pit lane without incident or causing a caution. Mike Conway locked up and had light contact with the wall as the session came to an end, which also saw a late spin for Scott Dixon.

The threat of rain was in the air as the clouds rolled in, with a line of thunderstorms threatening to track into the area in time for qualifying scheduled to commence at 12.05pm (5.05pm BST). Unlike Friday's disruption for late-running track preparations, there were no changes or delays to report for the start of the Saturday schedule.

Qualifying will take the street/road course format starting with the field split into two 14-car groups. The top six times from each progress through to the next round, with the top six from round 2 then entered into the Firestone Fast Six pole shoot-out.




Related Pictures

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Will Power happy with the top time during Friday practice on the streets of Baltimore - September 2011. [Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
Chevy Racing sweeps the podium with race winner Sebastien Bourdais (center), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races in Toronto, Canada. Second-place finisher Helio Castroneves (left), driver of the #3 PPV Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, and third-place finisher Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, join the celebration. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media.)
Sebastien Bourdais chats with his team on pit lane during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher  for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais exits Turn 8 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens  for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais passes by the Princes` Gate at Turn 1 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Eric Anderson  for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden walks the paddock prior to practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud enters Turn 4 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden waits on pit lane for practice to begin for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden enters Turn 4 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe`s car in Canadian mode (Photo By Chris Owens for IndyCar media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, takes over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon won the pole and finished in fourth-place. Kanaan led for most of the race and finished third. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, took over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan lead the pack at the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The #28 Andretti Autosport team celebrates victory (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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