IndyCar »

Power tops practice at Pocono ahead of qualifying

Will Power recorded a blistering lap of 223.348mph at Pocono Raceway during practice on Saturday ahead of qualifying for the Pocono IndyCar 500.
Penske's Will Power was on blistering form on Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway, setting an unofficial new track record speed of 223.348mph (40.2959s) on the 2.5-mile 'tri-oval' circuit.

In fact no fewer than 11 drivers were already faster than last year's two-lap qualifying average speed of 221.273mph recorded by Marco Andretti, with Power just a slender 0.0615s ahead of Andretti Autosport's Carlos Munoz. The top 11 were covered by 0.3617s and 19 drivers were within a second of Power's time in the hou-long afternoon session. All of the fastest laps were set with the help of a 'tow' or aerodynaic assist from running close behind other cars.

Earlier in the day, Ganassi's Tony Kanaan had paced the first practice session with a lap of 221.344mph (40.6607s) five minutes before the chequered flag putting him just ahead of a trio of Andretti Autosport cars consisting of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport and James Hinchcliffe. Kanaan subsequently improved his lap to 222.528mph (40.4444s) to maintain third place in the combined practice standings just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal.

There was an even split of five entries apiece between the Chevrolet and Honda stables for the two sessions, which saw a total of 1482 laps run as teams worked to complete the required mileage per engine that would means that they would be allowed to swap out the unit for a new one without penalty.

The morning session was incident-free with just two cautions to clear up debris. Hunter-Reay's participation was delayed by the discovery of a punctured radiator which saw him lose a third of the available running time, but he was quickly up to speed once he got out on the track.

By contrast the afternoon session saw a prolonged 13-minute yellow flag stoppage after Jack Hawksworth had a hard impact into turn 1 in the Bryan Herta Autosport #98 car. Hawksworth was able to climb out but appeared to be limping, and it was confirmed that he'd banged his knee in the impact.

"I'm sore, but I feel all right," he said after being evaluated and released by the in-field care centre.

"We'd been understeering in turn 1 during the whole session and there's a tailwind going into there so we'd been pushing a lot," he explained. "We just put tyres on and went into 1 and picked up a big oversteer instead of the understeer and it took us out. If I thought I was going to stick it into the wall, I would have thought it would be on turn 3, but it was turn 1."

While Hawksworth was cleared to race, the problem now is rebuilding the heavily damaged car. It seems likely that the team will have to spit out qualifying, which takes place at 5pm local time (10pm BST). Ironically the team had the same experience of wiping out the primary race chassis when they competed here last year with Alex Tagliani at the wheel.

That strong tailwind going into turn 1 had been giving all the drivers something of a headache all day: "It makes it a little tough to set up, especially when you are going from one corner to another, even though it is an oval," Helio Castroneves explained.

"When it's a constant wind, it's not a problem. When it's a gust of wind, that's when it's a problem. On one lap, the car is one way and the next one is, 'Whoa, what happened?' The inconsistency is what makes it difficult for us."

There were also problems for Ganassi's Ryan Briscoe, who lost a lot of time to an ECU issue, while Justin Wilson suffered a late electrical problem on the Dale Coyne Racing car that truncated his track time.

Full practice 1 results
Full practice 2 results
Full combined practice results



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Graham Rahal on the frontstretch during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti cross the start/finish line during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan in action at Pocono (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action at Pocono (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action at Pocono (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on the pit wall at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones 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)
The nose cone of Grahan Rahal`s car on pit lane. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media.)
Rain drops on a space nose cone for Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car (Photo by: Chris Jones 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)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.