Edmonton: Penskes 1-2-3 in practice 2
The drivers who have earned the six PEAK Performance Pole Awards on street/road courses this season gave a preview of what's to come in the first round of IZOD IndyCar Series qualifications July 24 for the Honda Indy Edmonton. Of the top 12 on the combined practice time sheet July 23, eight are in that first group.
"It will be the toughest qualifying session of the year," said Will Power, the defending race winner who topped the field with a quick lap of 1 minute, 1.6689 seconds (115.176 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car over the two hours of practice on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport circuit.
Teammates Ryan Briscoe was two-tenths of a second behind and Helio Castroneves was third with a best lap of 1:02.0152. The top 11 cars were separated by less than a second.
"It's great to see the Verizon car on top in practice, but I'm not quite happy with it," said Power, who is seeking his third consecutive victory. "The Penske team is very strong again here and with how competitive the field is now we have to work extra hard. We're feeding off each other and see if we can be 1-2-3 again tomorrow."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, fastest of the day): "The Verizon car is doing great, but we still have some work to do on the car to make it better. I don't have the feeling in the car that I had earlier in the day. The track is coming up to grip and I'd like to get a better feel for the car because the field will get faster and tomorrow will be the toughest qualifying session of the year."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, second fastest): "I'm really happy with the Team Penske car right now. It's a good start to the weekend. I love this track. It is just so exciting. You're out there really pushing hard, jumping over curbs, it's just a lot of fun. It's good to be out there. The balance feels pretty close like we were use to last year."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, third fastest): "This is a good start for Team Penske, finishing the second practice 1-2-3. The No. 3 car group was struggling through some technical issues, but we figured out what the car needed and we are confident going into tomorrow's practice and qualifying. It's great to be back in Edmonton. I love this place."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, fourth fastest): "The Target boys have done a good job and improved the car since last year when we were here. I need to do a slightly better job and hopefully we'll be up there in the mix for the race on Sunday."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, sixth fastest): "We worked on mostly just general setup today in both sessions. It seems as thought we were chasing the track. At the end of the second session today traffic played a bit of a role so we're looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 de Ferran Dragon Racing): "It was a complicated session today. We tried some things in the first session that didn't work, but we were able to recover during the second session. We made some huge improvements. We've got a reasonable start and are heading in the right direction, but we need to work further overnight."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): "The Venom car didn't roll off quite as strong as we'd hoped it would. But we made good use of practice today, and we're chipping away at it. We'll use tomorrow's morning session to re-evaluate what we've learned and should be in better shape for qualifying."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): "The track is a little bumpier than last year but that is what we would expect. The track is getting more grip in each session but we aren't gaining as much as we would like with each lap. We made a lot of changes, some good some bad, during the session. At one point I felt one change made the car better but at the same time I think the track got more grip so now I'm not sure if the lap time was because the setup improved or if it was the track. We're going to make a big change overnight that we hope will give us more grip."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Team IZOD): "Practice 2 was just a messy session (with all the traffic). We never put a lap together on new tires. The good news is we've got some more speed in the car, but it's a question of how much. We have a lot of homework to do tonight. It's going to be a pivotal discussion to see what we can do find the speed we need."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): "This is a tough track for us, for sure. We're a lot better this year than we have been, but we need to find a lot more. We have a lot of work to do. Ryan and I are trying to put our heads together and we're going to figure something out. It's not going to be easy. We'll make a plan together; we'll start on different paths in the morning and then meet somewhere before qualifying."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com): "The time sheets don't show much, but we are making progress with the GoDaddy car. The track was really green this morning, but was better this afternoon. It was hard to get a solid feel on the car during the second session because of traffic, but we are headed in the right direction."
EJ VISO (No. 8 PDVSA - Jet Aviation - KV Racing Technology): "We have a pretty complete car after the first day. The grid is so tight and this is one of those places that you have to push so much harder to pick up positions. You have to go over the limit sometimes. Putting all of the sectors of the track together is difficult too. This is a bumpy and unstable track, so it is very hard to run consistent laps here. It is even difficult to find the reference points under braking since you are going up and down in the cockpit. Your vision gets blurry. Overall, I think we have a good car going into qualifying. The track was slippery early but it should be good for qualifying on Saturday afternoon."
TAKUMA SATO No. 5 LOTUS - KV Racing Technology): "It is indeed a pretty unique track. It's my first time here on the Edmonton City Centre Airport track. It is so wide and extremely bumpy but we expected this. We made steady progress throughout the practice session and as my confidence grew, the car got better over the bumps. The end of the session was quite busy, but we were able to get in a good run which is important before qualifying tomorrow."
MARIO MORAES (No. 32 KV Racing Technology): "Overall, the day was good. Unfortunately, at the end of the second practice session despite new tires, we weren't really able to get in any runs because of the yellow flags. However I was able to get my fastest time on my last lap even though there was traffic. The car felt good, and I think we are capable of having a top-10 qualifying tomorrow."
PAUL TRACY (No. 15 Make-A-Wish - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY): "We had an overall good day today with the Make A Wish - Honda Canada - Motegi Wheels car. Everyone kind of went to plan in the morning. We were in the top-six in the morning practice and we had a little issue with the car in the afternoon. We started on old tires and we went through some good changes. Plus they were a lot of yellows (flags) and we couldn't get a good stint of laps together. At the end, I was able to squeak in one good lap in for a top-ten clocking. With a little more time in the afternoon, I believe we would have better and closer to the top-five. This is a tough track on a driver and car. But I'm pleased with the first day of running here at Edmonton. And the crowd looked big today. That is great for this event."
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "The Z-Line Designs car feels pretty good. We just need to keep working on it. We tried a couple of things during practice, which helped. We need to look through the data and try to understand if everything was improving and look at what we need to change. There is a lot of information to study before tomorrow and hopefully we can make some more improvements. We ended up 7th and that's not exactly where we want to be. We are just one or two good changes away and we need to make sure that we find those changes."
Tomas Scheckter, No. 24 MonaVie: "The MonaVie car is getting better. Today, we just kept working at it and kept improving. Again, this is a tough track, especially when I haven't been doing a lot of the road courses. The team is doing a great job and we will look at it some more tonight. The times are extremely close, so if we can improve a little bit we will be good for tomorrow." Results
||Total Laps |
||Sato, Takuma (R)
||de Silvestro, Simona (R)
||Baguette, Bertrand (R)
||Romancini, Mario (R)
||Lloyd, Alex (R)
||(R) Rookie |||||Total Laps: |651