Quelle Suprise!
Quelle Suprise!

Quelle Suprise! WILL POWER/Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet again topped the charts in practice, leading up to Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, running even faster than Friday, with a lap of 1:17.5339. He held the position for most of the hour-long session. He’s on his way to a clean sweep for the weekend.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet was tops at the beginning of the IZOD IndyCar practice, before Power caught up. Soon it was Team Penske 1-2-3, with RYAN BRISCOE and HELIO CASTRONEVES for most of the hour, fulfilling RHR’s Friday prophecy that Sonoma was “a Penske Track.”

TIM CINDRIC, President of Penske Performance Inc. said after the session, with a smile, “It’s not good enough. It’s not over yet.”

Near the end of practice, SCOTT DIXON/Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda supplanted Briscoe, while Dixon’s teammate DARIO FRANCHITTI, and SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS/Dragon Racing Chevrolet moved ahead of Castroneves, relegating the Brazilian veteran driver back to sixth.

Seventh through tenth were RHR, GRAHAM RAHAL/Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, TONY KANAAN/KV Racing Technology w/SH Chevrolet, and JUSTIN WILSON/Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

All 27 drivers were on track, and all went faster Saturday than they did on Friday.

As drivers continue to adapt to the new Turn Eleven configuration, drivers continue to use the Pit Entry road as part of the course, for which there is a drive-thru penalty assessed. Saturday the transgressors were top Rookie of the session, SIMON PAGENAUD/Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports Honda; and SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet.

After the new track configuration and some minor changes after last week’s IndyCar test, the circuit now officially measures 2.385 miles, instead of the previous 2.3 miles. The race will run 85 laps, not 75 laps.

Another clarification. The penalty for SCOTT DIXON/Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to run his seventh engine of the five allowed for the season is the same as any other unauthorized engine change – loss of ten grid positions for the next race. So, Dixon will start ten slots lower than he qualifies for the Sonoma race. Previously his teammate, Franchitti, had opined that the penalty would carry over for two races. It will anyhow, since Dixon has already exceeded his engine allotment for the season.

Last Modified on August 25, 2012
This entry was posted in IndyCar
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