Esteban Guerrieri led the two practice sessions for the Firestone Indy Lights Championship season opener in St. Petersburg. Guerrieri, who finished second in Firestone Indy Lights in 2011, turned a lap of 1:07.3874 in the No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. Gustavo Yacaman of Team Moore Racing was second and Sebastian Saavedra of AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport was third.
"We weren't pushing 100 percent because we want to save that for qualifying," said Guerrieri. "We were just trying to work on the car and try to be a bit quicker, the track is getting better, we put a bit better tires and went out to do two laps with those tires and then that's it. So, here we are, and at least we have good information to analyze tonight and for tomorrow's qualifying."
Guerrieri expressed enthusiasm about the the St. Pete circuit. "It's special always when you drive around the walls, you know? It's like you got to get used to going so close to the walls. The track actually is quite nice – they said it was bumpier but I don't feel like at all. Probably a bit bumpy in the first corner, but it has good grip here. We are going quicker already than last year's pole, and so I think it's fun."
He said the revised curbing for this year has forced a slight change in driving style. "A little bit, yeah. Actually now it's harder because you can't risk it – if you missed the apex before, you could go off the brakes and jump the curbs. Now if you try to jump one of the curbs you probably are in trouble. You have to be more precise, which is more challenging."