CLICK: Full practice 1 results from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed first honours of the weekend as the Andretti Autosport drivers posted the fastest time in the 45-minute Friday morning practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Hunter-Reay's time of 1:06.5316s (122.180mph) on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course put him 0.1415 ahead of Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsport's Simon Pagenaud, who was second quickest in the session despite running only six laps as teams were being given one set of tyres less for the weekend than in 2013.
Ganassi's Scott Dixon was also quick out of the box with the third fastest time, just ahead of Pagenaud's rookie team mate Mikhail Aleshin. In total, 20 cars were within a second of Hunter-Reay's time, with only the two British drivers Mike Conway (Ed Carpenter Racing) and Jack Hawksworth (Bryan Herta Autosport) falling outside.
Last year's Mid-Ohio race winner Charlie Kimball was 17th fastest, just ahead of Penske's Helio Castroneves who currently leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship heading into the final four rounds of the season, all of which take place in August.
Castroneves currently has a 13 point lead in the standings over his team mate Will Power. Power set the 13th fastest time in the Friday morning practice, but he was another to be careful of overusing the limited supply of tyres this weekend and consequently only put in three or four genuine laps.
There will be two further 45-minute practice sessions - on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning - before the qualifying session on Saturday afternoon which takes the familiar elimination round format for street and road courses.
There will also be a half-hour warm-up session on Sunday morning before the race itself which takes place at 3.50pm local time (8.50pm BST) on Sunday afternoon.
See full practice 1 results from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course