CLICK: Full Friday morning practice 1 results
CLICK: Full Friday afternoon practice 2 results
CLICK: Full Friday combined practice results
Last year's two winners at Detroit, Simon Pagenaud and Mike Conway, declared their intention to bid for repeat success by topping the time sheets in Friday's two practice sessions ahead of the Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Belle Isle.
Pagenaud set a time of 1:17.6502s (108.950mph) in the afternoon session, 0.0647s ahead of Conway and already significantly faster than last year's pole position times, and close to the fastest race lap of the weekend in 2013 which was Conway's 1:17.4371s.
"I think it's becoming an interesting track in terms of racing, not just qualifying, but there's some good places for passing - turn 3, turn 7," said Pagenaud, the winner of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course race earlier this month. "It's breathtaking after being two weeks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You really get your handful. It's certainly hard work. You just push yourself as hard as you can and try to do a good lap."
"I think we just picked up where we left off at Long Beach," said Conway, who did not compete in the Indy 500 and was settling back into the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing car. "It seems to be a good place to start with here. I haven't touched it much, which is a big credit to the team really."
Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay had led the morning session with a time of 1:18.8595s (107.279mph) on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit which had put him 0.0221s ahead of Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson. Although the #28 Andretti Autosport car improved its time in the later session, it was only by enough to put him into fifth place in Friday's combined timesheets.
There were no incidents in the morning session, but the afternoon practice saw three brief interruptions, the first for KV-AFS Racing's Sebastian Saavedra finding himself in the run-off area at turn 7 and needing assistance to get underway again.
The second red flag was for a spin by Justin Wilson in turn 4, which saw the #19 car make light contact with the the wall; Wilson was able to get a front wing change back on pit lane and return to the fray with little delay. The final stoppage came around 20 minutes before the end of the 45-minute session, when Hunter-Reay stopped on track and needed assistance.
There was also reported contact with the wall for Penske's Will Power, but without causing a caution. Despite suffering from handling issues as a result, Power was still able to set the fourth fastest time of the afternoon, just behind his team mate Helio Castroneves.
The two sessions are the only practice that the drivers will get this weekend. Saturday morning sees them go straight into qualifying for the first of the doubleheader races which will be held later in the afternoon. Qualifying will take the normal elimination round format for street and road car races, and the race itself will feature a double-file rolling start to of the 70-lap race.
Sunday morning sees a half-hour qualifying session in which the drivers will bid to set their fastest time and the starting grid set accordingly, with no elimination rounds. Once again the race itself on Sunday afternoon will be 70-laps long and begin with a rolling start.
Also on Friday, IndyCar has also announced penalties arising from unapproved engine changes at the Indianapolis 500, with Honda drivers Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Munoz all taking new engines before their old units had run the required 2500 miles, costing Honda ten manufacturer points in each case.
In addition, the Honda-powered entries of Jacques Villeneuve, Oriol Servia, Martin Plowman and Alex Tagliani also all initiated engine changes, meaning that in this case the drivers lose ten championship points.
Chevrolet was also docked ten championship points for an early change to the engine unit in polewinner Ed Carpenter's #20 car.
Full Friday morning practice 1 results
Full Friday afternoon practice 2 results
Full Friday combined practice results