Power Leads Shortened Practice

Will Power

Will Power turned a lap of 1 minute, 21.4572 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Defending race winner and IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power led shortened opening day of practice for the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

Power turned a lap of 1 minute, 21.4572 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car during a 30-minute practice after course issues shortened morning practice and forced series officials to install a chicane on the main straightaway.

"It is what it is," Power said. "It's the same for everyone, and it's another street course that we have to learn to be quick at."

"At the end of the day, we left last year thinking taking the chicane out would be a great idea to create a better passing zone, that was the logic behind it. If we could over the train tracks we'd be doing it, but we just can't. That's the way we fixed it, and I don't know if it's going to improve racing, but obviously can't run a good race on it, so it'll be what it'll be. I think it will still be a good race."

Erecting a temporary tire barrier chicane on the Pratt Street main straightaway was the most prudent and effective solution to alleviate the effects of a dip in a section of the pavement near the light rail tracks on the Pratt Street straightway.

"We lost some time today, but I think that was some good quality time at the end there," said Beaux Barfiell, President of Competition, INDYCAR. "With the proper chicane that we will install tonight, that will make the track different enough that they'll be able to go out and adapt to it pretty quickly and we'll have a good productive session in the morning."

Simon Pagenaud, who clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award at Sonoma, was second quick(1:21.4883) in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car.

Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, was third (1:21.7211) and Ruberna Barrichello (1:21.9194) in the No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology car. James Hinchcliffe was fifth in the No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com car for Andretti Autosport.

Groups for the first round of qualifying will be determined from the morning (9-10 ET) practice session.

Removal of the chicane, widening of the right-hand Turn 1 and reshaping Turns 5-6 (also the pit entrance) were alterations to the circuit based on driver feedback from the inaugural race in 2011. Construction started July 30 under the direction of NZR Consulting, and the company and its local workforce didn't take control of the full 2.04-mile, 13-turn course until late Aug. 30.

Related Topics:

IZOD Indy Car Series, Will Power

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