Scott Dixon led a Ganassi one-two in morning practice for the Iowa Speedway round of the IndyCar Series.
The reigning champion took the top spot from team-mate Dario Franchitti soon after the session – which as usual began with additional practice for rookies and drivers outside the championship top 10 – was opened up to the frontrunners.
Marco Andretti was third on the timesheets, but faces a difficult weekend after suffering a big crash on his 26th lap of the morning. The Andretti Green driver reckoned that "something broke" on his car after he spun into the Turn 2 wall. The heavy impact wrecked his primary car and left the team to prepare his back-up chassis for the rest of the event.
The session was stopped for 10 minutes while Andretti's debris was cleared up, and his time stood for third place when running resumed for a final quarter of an hour. His teammate Tony Kanaan took fourth, with the two Penske Dallara-Hondas fifth and seventh, split by Panther's Dan Wheldon.
A strong start to the weekend for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing saw Tomas Scheckter and Mike Conway take ninth and 11th, with the British rookie having been fastest in the opening 45-minute segment before the leading drivers joined in.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was 16th on his first appearance driving for AJ Foyt Enterprises. With Vision scaling back to a single car after his move, and the Iowa race not featuring in Sarah Fisher, Milka Duno or Conquest's programs, the field is down to just 20 cars for this weekend.TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 17.7135s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 17.7498s + 0.0363s
3. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 17.7920s + 0.0785s
4. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 17.8025s + 0.0890s
5. Ryan Briscoe Penske 17.8192s + 0.1057s
6. Dan Wheldon Panther 17.8223s + 0.1088s
7. Helio Castroneves Penske 17.8243s + 0.1108s
8. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 17.8385s + 0.1250s
9. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 17.8499s + 0.1364s
10. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 17.8530s + 0.1395s
11. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 17.8701s + 0.1566s
12. Mario Moraes KV 17.8814s + 0.1679s
13. Ed Carpenter Vision 17.9178s + 0.2043s
14. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 17.9323s + 0.2188s
15. EJ Viso HVM 17.9335s + 0.2200s
16. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 17.9415s + 0.2280s
17. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 17.9709s + 0.2574s
18. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 18.1397s + 0.4262s
19. Justin Wilson Coyne 18.6046s + 0.8911s
20. Jaques Lazier 3G 18.7945s + 1.0810s