|  | 

Automotive

Marco Andretti leads IndyCar Series practice Friday at Barber Motorsports Park

img-responsive

Share

  • Pinterest

Marco Andretti got off to a fast start Friday, recording the best practice lap in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Andretti, in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda, toured Barber Motorsports Park‘s 2.3-mile, 17-turn permanent road course in 1 minute, 7.7134 seconds (122.280 mph) to top the combined speed chart from a pair of Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions. Two-time Barber race winner Will Power was second at 1:07.7454 (122.222 mph).

Andretti’s last win and second of his career came 95 races ago at Iowa Speedway in June 2011. The 30-year-old third-generation Indy car driver knows Friday’s results mean little, but likes where he stands heading into knockout qualifying Saturday.

“It’s very important to qualify well here, so I’m pleased that we have the pace to hopefully be able to do that,” Andretti said. “But yeah, so far, so good. We just need to replicate it tomorrow.”

Andretti has collected four pole positions to date, but the most recent was 60 starts ago at Pocono Raceway in July 2013. He said attaining the best car balance through both the high- and low-speed turns around Barber will be key.

Defending Grand Prix of Alabama winner Simon Pagenaud led opening practice with a fast lap of 1 minute, 7.7134 seconds (122.280 mph).
Photo by LAT Photographic

“I think it’s just going to be about maximizing when it counts, you know?” Andretti said. “It’s going to be doing it on that lap and putting all my sectors together, and (I’ve) got to do it three times, three rounds (in qualifying). That’s going to be the plan. It just seems we have a pretty good car. It’s just going to come down to whether I can put it together.”

Defending Grand Prix of Alabama winner Simon Pagenaud led opening practice with a fast lap of 1 minute, 7.7134 seconds (122.280 mph).

Power, in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet, led a trio of Team Penske drivers who finished the day second through fourth fastest. The 2011 and ’12 Barber winner was followed by Pagenaud in the No. 1 Menards Chevrolet (1:07.8305) and 2010 Barber winner Hélio Castroneves in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Chevrolet (1:07.9044).

“It’s just a track that I like,” said Power, who also won the pole position at the track in 2010, ’11 and ’14. “You want to be competitive everywhere; I think with Penske we are. You have a chance to win everywhere, but yeah, I enjoy this place.”

A third 45-minute practice will be at noon ET Saturday, ahead of knockout qualifying starting at 4:15 p.m. (NBCSN coverage starts at 4:30). Live coverage of the 90-lap race begins at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Sunday’s race will be the eighth Verizon IndyCar Series event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park and the third of 17 races on this year’s schedule.


IndyCar Series Friday practice combined results at Barber Motorsports Park

(214.71 KB)



By IndyCar communications

marco-andretti-leads-indycar-series-practice-friday-at-barber-motorsports-park

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

POST YOUR COMMENTS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Email *

Website