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Baltimore: Practice 2 times

Tristan Vautier ended up topping the time sheets for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports in Baltimore in the afternoon practice on Friday, as the infamous chicane started to show its teeth.
Tristan Vautier was the unexpected pacesetter in the second 45-minute practice session on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn street course in downtown Baltimore on Friday afternoon.

The #55 Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport car set a lap of 1:19.4792s (92.402mph) to claim the fastest lap of the opening day of the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT race weekend. The French rookie driver was just under nine hundredths of a second faster than Graham Rahal, who finished in second spot for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's Josef Newgarden.

"I don't know, I just love this place," said Vautier. "We started well, but I think it's going to be about keeping improving because everybody is going to keep improving and it's always very hard to put everything together at the right time. So I have to really keep focused and keep executing really well to stay up there."

The morning's fastest driver Will Power finished in sixth after looking to be on his way to setting an even faster time in the final seconds of the session when he ended up being collected by the notorious turn 9 chicane, which consists of a tyre barrier to protect part of the track that runs over the municipal railway lines which otherwise can launch a car into the air. The session ended under red for the #12 Penske car's accident.

"On the last lap there in the afternoon session I just locked up the tires going into turn 9 and fortunately there wasn't much in the way of damage to the front wing. We'll give it another go tomorrow," he said. "I think we still have a bit of work to do on the car to get it to where it needs to be and find some more speed. The track itself is very physical, especially the chicanes. Those are pretty tough."

Prior to Power's mishap, the first serious incident of the weekend had seen Sebastian Saavedra become the first car to make solid contact with chicane with the right-front of the #6 Dragon Racing car. Although that didn't bring out a caution itself, a spin for Justin Wilson at turn 3 shortly afterwards did. Prior to that the only interruption of the session had been for debris in turn 1 - a piece of Oriol Servia's wing from the #4 Panther Racing car following contact on pit lane - just a few minutes after the green flag had waved for the start.

All 24 cars went faster in the afternoon session than they had in the morning, with 13 of the cars within one second of Vautier's leading time. Stefan Wilson continued to be the slowest car on the track by some margin in the #18 Dale Coyne Racing car as he gets to grips with the track for his first race outing in an IndyCar alongside his team mate and older brother Justin Wilson.

There will be one final 45-minute practice session at 9.05am (2.05pm BST) on Saturday morning with qualifying at noon (5pm BST) on Saturday then following the usual IndyCar three-round elimination format, with the top 12 fastest drivers progressing to round 2 and then the top half of the field making it through to the Firestone Fast Six pole shootout. A half-hour Sunday morning warm-up at 10.15am (3.15pm BST) precedes the race itself which runs from 2.30pm (7.30pm BST).

Practice 2 times

1. #55 Tristan Vautier (H) 92.402mph 1:19.4792s (15 laps)
2. #15 Graham Rahal (H) 92.304mph 1:19.5630s + 0.0838s (14 laps)
3. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 92.185mph 1:19.6662s + 0.1870s (14 laps)
4. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 92.142mph 1:19.7027s + 0.2235s (11 laps)
5. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 91.971mph 1:19.8509s + 0.3717s (16 laps)
6. #12 Will Power (C) 91.943mph 1:19.8756s + 0.3964s (14 laps)
7. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 91.732mph 1:20.0593s + 0.5801s (17 laps)
8. #14 Takuma Sato (H) 91.693mph 1:20.0934s + 0.6142s (17 laps)
9. #7 Sebastien Bourdais (C) 91.616mph 1:20.1604s + 0.6812s (17 laps)
10. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 91.574mph 1:20.1976s + 0.7184s (11 laps)
11. #98 Luca Filippi (H) 91.566mph 1:20.2042s + 0.7250s (17 laps)
12. #4 Oriol Servià (C) 91.349mph 1:20.3953s + 0.9161s (14 laps)
13. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 91.255mph 1:20.4774s + 0.9982s (15 laps)
14. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 91.168mph 1:20.5546s + 1.0754s (16 laps)
15. #5 EJ Viso (C) 91.117mph 1:20.6001s + 1.1209s (14 laps)
16. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 91.108mph 1:20.6077s + 1.1285s (14 laps)
17. #19 Justin Wilson (H) 90.913mph 1:20.7808s + 1.3016s (17 laps)
18. #6 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 90.861mph 1:20.8272s + 1.3480s (13 laps)
19. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 90.781mph 1:20.8984s + 1.4192s (12 laps)
20. #16 James Jakes (H) 90.763mph 1:20.9139s + 1.4347s (10 laps)
21. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 90.598mph 1:21.0618s + 1.5826s (14 laps)
22. #78 Simona De Silvestro (C) 89.785mph 1:21.7958s + 2.3166s (15 laps)
23. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 89.069mph 1:22.4532s + 2.9740s (17 laps)
24. #18 Stefan Wilson (H) 87.822mph 1:23.6238s + 4.1446s (20 laps)

Total laps: 354



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Saavedra during practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Friday, August 30 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Stefan Wilson during practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Friday, August 30 2013. (Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Tristan Vautier during practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Friday, August 30 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tristan Vautier during practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Friday, August 30 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Tristan Vautier during practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Friday, August 30 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship title (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wheel-to-wheel with Graham Rahal (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin sits in his machine prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin on course during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves in his pit stand following practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)

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