Franchitti tops first IndyCar practice in Loudon

Dario Franchitti running Nikon livery this weekend 
Dario Franchitti and other IZOD IndyCar Series drivers have set their sights on the Indy car track record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He had a quick lap of 21.5665 seconds (171.099 mph) on the 1.025mile oval to top practice Aug. 11 for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225.
The Indy car lap record is 21.466 seconds by Andre Ribeiro (Ana Beatriz's manager) in qualifying on Aug. 19, 1995. The IZOD IndyCar Series track record is 21.719 seconds by Richie Hearn in 1996  the first of three times the series raced at thenNew Hampshire International Speedway.
"My first order of business today was to learn the track and the first run felt good," Franchitti said. "It is definitely a lot easier to learn a place when the car is doing what you want it to. I think we are in good shape now and we will be chasing the track a little bit. We'll see if we can continue this form into the weekend."
The top 10 in the 27car lineup were separated by less than fourtenths of a second.
Scott Dixon (21.6204; 170.672) was second and Graham Rahal (21.6644) was third. KV Racing TechnologyLotus teammates Tony Kanaan (21.7368), Takuma Sato (21.7713) and E.J. Viso (21.7743) were fourth through sixth.
There are two practice sessions Aug. 13 (the series yields to Whelen Modifieds on Aug. 12) prior to twolap qualifications.
Also on Aug. 11, Gustavo Yacaman topped the two 45minute practice sessions on Aug. 11 as teams began preparations for the 100lap race on Aug. 14.
Yacaman recorded a lap of 25.0034 seconds in the No. 2 TMR/Tuvacol/Xtreme Coil Drilling car, ahead of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports trio of Josef Newgarden (25.0242), Bryan Clauson (25.3175) and Esteban Guerrieri (25.4634). Anders Krohn rounded out the top five.
On Sunday drivers will have 20 uses of the Honda overtake assist – each for 12 seconds – on the 1mile oval. There’s an 8second recharge period between uses.
The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.
The Firestone Firehawk tire specification is the same as used at The Milwaukee Mile in June. Each entry received 11 sets of Firehawks for the race weekend. Firestone conducted a tire test at the speedway last September.
Practice 1 times
1. #10 Dario Franchitti 169.718mph 21.7419s 21 laps
2. #26 Marco Andretti 168.250mph 21.9316s + 0.1897s 38 laps
3. #82 Tony Kanaan 167.869mph 21.9814s + 0.2395s 16 laps
4. #5 Takuma Sato 166.917mph 22.1068s + 0.3649s 39 laps
5. #9 Scott Dixon 166.269mph 22.1930s + 0.4511s 48 laps
6. #38 Graham Rahal 166.215mph 22.2002s + 0.4583s 43 laps
7. #6 Ryan Briscoe 166.144mph 22.2096s + 0.4677s 85 laps
8. #2 Oriol Servia 165.848mph 22.2493s + 0.5074s 50 laps
9. #3 Helio Castroneves 164.926mph 22.3737s + 0.6318s 84 laps
10. #7 Danica Patrick 164.669mph 22.4086s + 0.6667s 64 laps
11. #06 James Hinchcliffe 164.410mph 22.4439s + 0.7020s 45 laps
12. #12 Will Power 164.324mph 22.4557s + 0.7138s 49 laps
13. #4 JR Hildebrand 163.728mph 22.5374s + 0.7955s 56 laps
14. #28 Ryan HunterReay 163.209mph 22.6090s + 0.8671s 48 laps
15. #83 Charlie Kimball 162.862mph 22.6572s + 0.9153s 65 laps
16. #22 Tomas Scheckter 162.750mph 22.6728s + 0.9309s 65 laps
17. #27 Mike Conway 162.456mph 22.7138s + 0.9719s 61 laps
18. #59 EJ Viso 161.892mph 22.7930s + 1.0511s 69 laps
19. #19 Alex Lloyd 161.758mph 22.8119s + 1.0700s 67 laps
20. #77 Alex Tagliani 160.830mph 22.9435s + 1.2016s 57 laps
21. #18 James Jakes 159.953mph 23.0693s + 1.3274s 84 laps
22. #14 Vitor Meira 159.172mph 23.1825s + 1.4406s 48 laps
23. #30 Pippa Mann 158.749mph 23.2442s + 1.5023s 60 laps
24. #67 Ed Carpenter 157.506mph 23.4277s + 1.6858s 78 laps
25. #24 Ana Beatriz 157.023mph 23.4998s + 1.7579s 60 laps
26. #78 Simona de Silvestro 156.641mph 23.5570s + 1.8151s 78 laps
27. #34 Sebastian Saavedra 148.658mph 24.8220s + 3.0801s 33 laps
Total Laps: 1511