Will Power went to the top of the timesheets with a blistering lap of 1:02.0077s on the 1.8-mile temporary street course in St Petersburg, Florida on Friday afternoon, but that was a slender 0.0854s over his Penske team mate Ryan Briscoe who was second-fastest. Power topped the timesheets despite running only seven laps in the afternoon, the fewest of any driver.

While the next fastest car was that of Dario Franchitti some two tenths of a second back, the fact that 20 of the 26 cars running on the track were within a second of the leading time proved just how close in terms of performance the majority of the field was looking going into the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series opener this weekend.

Even two of the Lotus-powered cars made it into that 1s bracket, with HVM's Simona de Silvestro the highest placed in 16th and Sebastian Bourdais remarkably up in 19th place despite only receiving his engine the day before, having looked at one point as though he would be sitting out the first race of the season altogether.

One driver outside the 1s envelope was Rubens Barrichello, who continued to suffer from undisclosed mechanical problems that had curtailed his morning activities and prevented him from properly learning the circuit.

The second hour-long practice session saw two red flags, one for Simon Pagenaud stalling at the entry to pit lane and a second for James Jakes spinning and stalling his car.

Practice 2

1. #12 Will Power (C) 104.503mph 1m 02.0077s (7 laps)
2. #2 Ryan Briscoe (C) 104.359mph 1m 02.0931s + 0.0854s (17 laps)
3. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 104.141mph 1m 02.2232s + 0.2155s (20 laps)
4. #38 Graham Rahal (H) 104.026mph 1m 02.2924s + 0.2847s (23 laps)
5. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 103.993mph 1m 02.3117s + 0.3040s (16 laps)
6. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 103.981mph 1m 02.3190s + 0.3113s (13 laps)
7. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 103.741mph 1m 02.4632s + 0.4555s (25 laps)
8. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 103.711mph 1m 02.4814s + 0.4737s (20 laps)
9. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 103.630mph 1m 02.5301s + 0.5224s (18 laps)
10. #14 Mike Conway (H) 103.624mph 1m 02.5337s + 0.5260s (17 laps)
11. #26 Marco Andretti (C) 103.577mph 1m 02.5624s + 0.5547s (24 laps)
12. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 103.515mph 1m 02.5997s + 0.5920s (10 laps)
13. #4 JR Hildebrand (C) 103.237mph 1m 02.7683s + 0.7606s (26 laps)
14. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 103.211mph 1m 02.7838s + 0.7761s (24 laps)
15. #18 Justin Wilson (H) 103.035mph 1m 02.8915s + 0.8838s (19 laps)
16. #78 Simona de Silvestro (L) 102.998mph 1m 02.9136s + 0.9059s (21 laps)
17. #19 James Jakes (H) 102.996mph 1m 02.9152s + 0.9075s (24 laps)
18. #15 Takuma Sato (H) 102.923mph 1m 02.9594s + 0.9517s (21 laps)
19. #7 Sebastien Bourdais (L) 102.893mph 1m 02.9778s + 0.9701s (22 laps)
20. #5 EJ Viso (C) 102.880mph 1m 02.9857s + 0.9780s (19 laps)
21. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 102.710mph 1m 03.0904s + 1.0827s (22 laps)
22. #98 Alex Tagliani (L) 102.562mph 1m 03.1812s + 1.1735s (24 laps)
23. #8 Rubens Barrichello (C) 102.323mph 1m 03.3290s + 1.3213s (25 laps)
24. #22 Oriol Servia (L) 102.283mph 1m 03.3535s + 1.3458s (26 laps)
25. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 100.305mph 1m 04.6031s + 2.5954s (21 laps)
26. #6 Katherine Legge (L) 100.063mph 1m 04.7592s + 2.7515s (23 laps)

Total Laps: 527 (H) = Honda, (C) = Chevrolet, (L) = Lotus