Scott Dixon set the fastest time in the opening free practice session of the IZOD IndyCar Series season in Sao Paulo. The former champion stopped the clocks at 1m31.7707sec for Ganassi as the field acclimatized to the new Brazilian street track that will host tomorrow's opener.
Three different teams filled the top three, with Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Andretti Autosport's Tony Kanaan claiming second and third, both two tenths of a second down on Dixon.
Penske's Will Power and Dreyer & Reinbold's Mike Conway completed the top five, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay in his debut with Michael Andretti's team.
New squad Fazzt also made an encouraging start to its season, with Alex Tagliani taking ninth place. Top rookie was HVM's Simona de Silvestro in 12th.
Reigning champion Dario Franchitti was only 17th, though. The Ganassi driver had an early trip down an escape road, then had to park his car in the pits after damaging his suspension against the Turn 8 wall.
Franchitti was not the only driver caught out by the new track. Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport) also went off course in the opening minutes, Conquest's rookie Mario Romancini did severe rear end damage to his car when he hit the Turn 3 wall, and Milka Duno brought the session to a slightly early end when she spun under acceleration out of the final corner and nosed into the opposite barrier.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m31.7707s
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m31.9731s + 0.2024s
3. Tony Kanaan Andretti 1m31.9753s + 0.2048s
4. Will Power Penske 1m32.3009s + 0.5302s
5. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m32.6446s + 0.8739s
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m32.7943s + 1.0236s
7. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon/de Ferran 1m32.8537s + 1.0830s
8. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m32.9402s + 1.1695s
9. Alex Tagliani Fazzt 1m33.1523s + 1.3816s
10. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m33.3587s + 1.5880s
11. EJ Viso KV 1m33.3998s + 1.6291s
12. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m33.4757s + 1.7050s
13. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m33.4808s + 1.7101s
14. Mario Moraes KV 1m33.5580s + 1.7874s
15. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m33.6684s + 1.8978s
16. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m33.6970s + 1.9263s
17. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m33.8456s + 2.0750s
18. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 1m33.9907s + 2.2200s
19. Takuma Sato KV 1m34.0126s + 2.2420s
20. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m34.4779s + 2.7072s
21. Mario Romancini Conquest 1m34.6577s + 2.8871s
22. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m34.7795s + 3.0088s
23. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m37.4300s + 5.6593s
24. Milka Duno Dale Coyne 1m43.4555s + 11.6848s