Will Power started to show his hand in second practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, as he gradually took control of the 45-minute session to end up over a quarter of a second clear of the rest of the field at the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course.

Power's best lap time came toward the end of the session and clocked in at 1:07.2913s (123.047mph) as track conditions continues to improve after their overnight soaking. That compares with Power's own 2014 pole time of 1:08.3120s, although it's still some way off Scott Dixon's 2013 track qualifying lap record of 1:06.7750s (123.999mph).

CLICK: Full practice 2 times from Barber Motorsports Park

The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion finished 0.2689s ahead of his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves, while morning pace setter Dixon was just able to ward off a Penske 1-2-3 in the second session by edging out Simon Pagenaud by 0.0156s for third place.

Before the final flurry of flying laps, Pagenaud had been vying for the top spot with Power but lost out in the closing minutes. The Frenchman nonetheless finished more than a tenth of a second clear of his compatriot Sebastien Bourdais in the #11 KVSH Racing car while CFH Racing's rounded out the Chevrolet contingent' grip on the top six for this session.

James Hinchcliffe was the fastest Honda runner in seventh place for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, but he was the only representative of the Japanese manufacturer in the top ten which was rounded out by Luca Filippi (CFH Racing), Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Juan Pablo Montoya (driving the fourth Penske.)

Filippi was the cause of a late caution seven minutes from the end of the session when he spun and stalled the engine which meant that the safety crew had to be dispatched to fire him back up again. He wasn't the first driver to trigger a red flag: that honour had already gone to Dale Coyne Racing new boy Rodolfo Gonzalez who spun off just four minutes into the second practice, stranding himself on the grass verge in turn 9.

Despite this early mishap, the Venezuelan - who becomes the fourth driver of the #18 entry in the footsteps of Carlos Huertas, Rocky Moran Jr. and Conor Daly since the start of the season - was still almost a second faster than his team mate Francesco Dracone when the chequered flag came out. However, Gonzalez was himself a full second off SPM's James Jakes in 21st place, meaning that neither Coyne cars was able to improve on their first practice session times, leaving them disturbingly far off the pace again this weekend.

Nor will they have much time to find the extra peed they need to be competitive, as this was the last practice session before the three-round elimination format qualifying session that gets underway on Saturday afternoon at 3.55pm (9.55pm BST) and which will decide the starting order for Sunday's race and is likely to set a new track qualifying record provided that the weather doesn't impose itself on proceedings once again.

There will be a further half-hour Sunday morning warm-up session at 10am (4pm BST) to allow the teams to carry out any final race set-up tweaks. After that, the drivers will be taking their grid positions ahead of the start of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, which is scheduled to get the green flag at 2.37pm (8.37pm BST).

CLICK: Full practice 2 times from Barber Motorsports ParkCLICK: Combined Saturday practice 1 and 2 times