Power tops practice 2 in Baltimore A 30-minute session completed the first day with defending race winner and IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power pacing the 25 entries with a lap of 1 minute, 21.4572 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.
"It's the same for everyone and it's another street course that we have to learn to be quick at," said Power, who enters the penultimate race of the season with a 36-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
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.
With the addition of the chicane on the Pratt Street straightway, the official course length is now 2.04 miles. And the new chicane will add an additional Turn. The chicane will is now Turn 13 on the course.
BEAUX BARFIELD (President of Competition, INDYCAR): "(The grinding) was a good effort. They wanted to try it and I don't blame them. From feedback I was getting from the teams with the grinding, I was very sure I was going to stick with my chicane program. The two together certainly look likes what we needed to get this race going." (How does this affect tomorrow's schedule?): "We lost some time today, but I think that was some good quality time at the end there. 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. So, no schedule changes. Tomorrow's schedule will remain unchanged as far as I'm concerned. We will be out there late constructing the chicane tonight, but we have a good plan in place, much like we did when we brought the tires out. We will have to move some walls around to get some room to lay the asphalt in. The asphalt is on its way. It will be a slightly different chicane from last year because last year we had a three-curb chicane and this year it will be two and a layout identical to what the tires laid out just now. So we can go out and use the rubber laid down as a good guide for how we're going to lay the curbs out. On a different note, but certainly related, the qualifying groups for (IZOD IndyCar Series) will be set based on tomorrow morning's practice times. None of the times today counted to the separation of the groups." (The curbs have gone from three to two?): "Correct. When I saw it last year and thought it was too confining. I came up with that idea and when I came back this year with these drivers, I ran it by several of them and when it mentioned it in the drivers' meeting this morning, everyone immediately nodded. So good support from the drivers. And I think they just proved that that had a little better flow and there's less likelihood for issues there. (It's Right to Left?): "It actually goes from right to left. They come out of Turn 12 on the left. They'll naturally fade back to the right and then (the chicane) takes them from right to left and they just get straight and settled before they get to the tracks, which is how we intended." (Too early to say what the start will look like?): "I'm going to have to look at it. Honestly from issues I had with ALMS last year, the start looked good when I had the drivers straddle the curbs. I think there's a possibility to do that this year, but we had an issue with some of the cars in the back of the field that were on the right that were going too fast when they got to the tracks. So as much as it did look good, I don't see be able to do that this year based on the speed that the cars will be going and the right-hand side is bumpier than the left." (Problem with the track was the pavement leading up to the tracks or the tracks?): "I believe the problem with the track is the pavement before you get to the railroad tracks. A lot of the problem is the tracks are the high ground in that area, whereas the pavement in the Turn 7 area or at pit in the tracks are the low ground, so it's easy to pave across them and achieve what we're able to there. As quick and as easy as that is and it appears to be, it's really impossible to do the same thing to do on the backstraight. It's really an unfortunate challenge there for us." (Is there any discussion for paving over the tracks in the future?): "There's really no chance for paving over the tracks on the backstraight, so we're really going to have to look at our options for the future." (What are those options?): "It would require what I think would be a pretty significant commitment from the City, and beyond what they already showed us, it would be a pretty tall order. They've been great with a lot of the paving they've done in other areas. It would probably include a significant repave job and what my expectations are for an event like this and it would an above and beyond what we've asked for. For what we created today with a little simpler chicane, I'd live with us being able to do this event like that in the future."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "It is what it is. It's the same for everyone, and it's another street course that we have to learn to be quick at." (About the traditional right-left chicane): "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."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 GEICO/Mouser Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "Obviously after this morning we all agreed that we couldn't go over like that, the railroad tracks. We got together and I think those are the things we face sometimes. We all thought last year, it was unanimous throughout us drivers that we could take the chicane out. For some reason, and I think Tony Cotman had the perfect explanation, those railroad tracks, they sit on a rubber underneath the construction, so they are not the same from a year ago. And we all thought we could avoid the chicane and have better passing zone, and obviously we found out it was not. And I think it was a great response between us drivers, INDYCAR, Cotman and the city itself to be able to change it. I think that we work extremely hard, especially the drivers, with Tony Cotman the past few months to try to make changes to the track to make it better, and we actually asked to change Turn 6 as well, and we made the change and we still don't think it's right, so we're going to try to work on that corner, and as far as the chicane, I think it was unanimous throughout us that we didn't want it, but right now it's the challenges that we face on a normal temporary street course, so we did the best solution for what we got. Hopefully we'll put a good show for the fans."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet): "This track is brutal, really a physical bumpy course, but we knew that coming in after last year's race. Overall the No.2 PPG machine performed well this afternoon and my guys did a great job making late notice changes to the car as decisions with the track were being made. Whatever the final track decisions are heading into qualifying, I know I'm going to have good car under me and we'll be ready to compete."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "It was a very short day. The shortest Friday ever. The car is pretty good. We gave it our best shot based upon what we knew from last year. It seems to be pretty close. We'll see what we can do for tomorrow. With half-an-hour, we hardly got anything done. We tried a damper adjustment and that seemed to help. So now we're going to take a look at what we did today, try to make it better and go for it tomorrow."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "We tried two very different setups on the Target car today. It didn't seem like we had much track time. The organizers and INDYCAR are doing everything they can with the chicane to put on a good race. They will get the chicane sorted out tonight and it will be the same for everyone tomorrow."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): "It was a short day in terms of practice time. We had to try quite a few things like ride height - particularly over the bumps which you have to fight. We need to look into the data but there are a number of things we have to improve quite a lot to get the balance right and get a little bit more grip overall. Let's see how the chicane will change for tomorrow too. We will evaluate a few things and hopefully we are closer to having the right balance tomorrow."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central Honda): "Not a bad day, overall. I think we're probably in the hunt. We didn't get a clear lap over there so it's hard to tell where we are speed-wise. Certainly, I think we could have made a run up there in the top-five or six but we have a little bit of speed to find to catch up to Will. He's pretty far out there. I feel pretty good about it. This is a place we were pretty strong at last year and I think we'll be able to do that again."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "I love this new car. It's very fast and brakes very well. It's a real rocket ship. I haven't gotten to drive a single seater race car for a while so this was a real treat. The track is very bumpy and I need to get used to it. It was a shame to get only half an hour practice because I was counting on more to get acclimated with the car. I have a lot of work to do but I'm going to get there."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPenHonda): "It was a good start to the weekend. It was nice to see the track and the series come up with a solution that works for a little bit of practice today. The car is pretty good. I think the weekend is looking up. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I think that qualifying is going to be pretty important here, even though there are some passing opportunities."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "Obviously, 95 percent of the track is going to be the same tomorrow as it was today. It's just the chicane might have a little different profile, but at least we had a chicane to work with. Our car was reasonable, but it's tough with so little track time. The gap to the guy in first is still pretty big, so we'll take what we can from today and credit to the series for getting us out there and getting us a solid half hour of practice. It's unfortunate what transpired, but I think everybody did a good job and kept their heads cool and we put on at least a bit of a show for the fans here today. We'll hit the track running tomorrow and everything will be good and forgotten."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): "We can't take much away from today. We had some braking issues that we had to sort out for tomorrow. We're seventh and we can definitely improve from there. It's good. The track is going to change a lot tomorrow and we can't react too much."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Dr Pepper Ten Chevrolet): "I never had a lot of consecutive laps and here you need laps to develop a rhythm, so I never was in a rhythm for Practice 2. Lap time will come from a rhythm. Once we get the track to where we're going to keep it, we can start working on getting faster."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "At least we all got a bit of the session this afternoon. It turned out OK in the second session despite the bit of cluster that was this morning. As the drivers mentioned to INDYCAR, we didn't want the chicane from last year. We thought we could go straight over the railroad tracks and we tried it this morning. But it didn't work. We all sat down and discussed it. We came up with a temporary solution for today and we'll get a better setup for tomorrow with the chicane. It was good to get a normal session after everything was so abnormal this morning. We still have a lot of work to do, but I feel like we are in position to move up the grip a bit in qualifying."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): "It was a little bit of a hectic first day, but you know we got a little bit of time out on the track and there was a lot of traffic. I think we could probably find four or five tenths just by putting a lap together. But in general the car feels really good. The track is definitely rough; to me it seems rougher than last year. Half the track has been repaved so that part is really smooth, but the other half is super rough. That will definitely be something that we have to continue to keep an eye on as we move forward because with the engines being under a little higher stress that could raise some issues with performance. They've got some fixes to make over night with the race track but we'll come back with guns blazing tomorrow."
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "I don't know what those guys said. I thought it was a lot of fun. It was really throwing the car into the corner and dealing with it. I thought it was a lot of fun. Railroad tracks were actually something to deal with on the exit of the corner. It was a really good change."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HMV Racing Lotus): It was a bit of a weird day with the track changes during the day, but it's OK. We made some improvements in the car. We'll see what we've got tomorrow. The chicane is going to be different, so we'll just keep working on the rest of the track and try to find some speed through the corners.
MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "We only got 30 minutes and it will probably be different tomorrow but it's the same for everybody. The car got better and better with each run so I'm just getting a good feel for what we've got and learn the circuit some more. There's still some time left in me but it's a good start and we just have to keep it going from there."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "What an interesting day for the track and the Penske Truck Rental car. We had a slight problem with the brakes that we discovered towards the end of the session so we decided to stop so that we don't have long term issues. We are looking forward to seeing how things are for tomorrow."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It was a colorful day due to the different tracks we had for each practice session. And the one we had in the last session is still not the one we will have for qualifying. However, even with the limited track time we had today we believe the changes we made from the first practice to the second improved the car. We still have some issues to address and that is what we will work on for tomorrow."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It was a pretty short day for someone trying to learn the track. However, from the word go I was okay with the setup of the car, so I was able to do fast lap times. We still have a lot of work to do to, but I am much happier now with the chicane that they added to stop the car launching."
||Simona de Silvestro