The Mayor of Hinchtown, JAMES HINCHE/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, ended up fastest during the first Friday IZOD IndyCar practice at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, with a time of 1:09.8157/101.479 mph. Hinch scored the time near the end of the session, on his seventh of the nine laps he ran.
For much of the 45-minute session, 2011 Long Beach IndyCar winner, MIKE CONWAY/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, was the leader, turning his fastest time on his fourteenth of 21 laps.
Third through fifth were TAKUMA SATO/A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda, Swiss Missile SIMONA de SILVESTRO/KV Racing Technology Chevrolet and 2011 RYAN HUNTER-REAY/Andretti Autosport Chevrolet.
All 27 IndyCars were eventually on course. ANA BEATRIZ/Dale Coyne Racing Honda, took full advantage of the session, running 22 laps. She placed twenty-two in the finishing order. At the other end of the spectrum, RHR ran only seven laps but finished fifth overall.
Brembo Brakes has issued a very interesting Brake Facts document for this race, using brake data gathered by the manufacturer. The information will be easily available Fridays of each race weekend at http://indycar.brembo.com on. Among other things, the Data sheet identifies Long Beach as ‘Hard.’ All tracks will be Hard, Medium or Light. JACK GERKEN, Brembo Brake representative said all street courses are/will be considered Hard, due to surface roughbess, man hole covers, bumps, curbs and pavement changes. An example of a Medium Course is Sonoma Raceway, a road course for IndyCars; and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is classified as Light.
At Long Beach Brembo classifies Turn One as the most difficult turn on the 1.968-mile street course. Turn Six is the second most difficult of the 11 corners. Turn Eleven is tight, but wider since IndyCar opened it up last year. This famous hairpin, just before the long front straight to Start-Finish, now is a zone where brave drivers can run double-file through the corner – despite having to brake down to 35 mph. The drivers can ‘trail brake.’ The Long Beach circuit varies in width from 35 to 60 feet wide. Brembo said there are nine brakings over the course of a lap, excluding Pit Entrance and Accident Avoidance.
Friday Practice is 2:30pm local time/5:30pm EST.