Will Power was quickest by nearly seven tenths of a second in the opening free practice session for this weekend's Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The Australian Penske driver only completed five laps of the 2.38-mile road course outside Birmingham before rain hit, but managed to set a 1:12.750 to beat St. Petersburg winner and reigning champion Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi) to the top spot.
All three Penske drivers were in the top six, with Ryan Briscoe third and Helio Castroneves sixth, split by Scott Dixon in the second entry from Ganassi's main team, and Mike Conway – again the top Andretti Autosport driver.
Takuma Sato (KV), Justin Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti) were next up, with rookie Charlie Kimball showing improved form for Ganassi to take 10th.
Newman/Haas' new signing James Hinchcliffe was 11th, while Simon Pagenaud was 25th as he settled into the Dreyer & Reinbold car in his first session substituting for the injured Ana Beatriz.
The rain arrived with 15 minutes of the session to go, and eventually became hard enough to convince most teams to pack up and return to the paddock - although Dale Coyne's Sebastien Bourdais went back out and enjoyed the track to himself when it was at its wettest.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Will Power Penske 1m12.7502s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m13.4078s + 0.6576s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m13.5017s + 0.7515s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m13.6461s + 0.8959s
5. Mike Conway Andretti 1m13.7786s + 1.0284s
6. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m13.7958s + 1.0456s
7. Takuma Sato KV 1m13.8155s + 1.0653s
8. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m13.9165s + 1.1663s
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m14.0133s + 1.2631s
10. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi 1m14.2019s + 1.4517s
11. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m14.2344s + 1.4842s
12. Tony Kanaan KV 1m14.2371s + 1.4869s
13. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m14.2532s + 1.5030s
14. Alex Tagliani Schmidt 1m14.3615s + 1.6113s
15. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m14.3840s + 1.6338s
16. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m14.3955s + 1.6453s
17. Sebastien Bourdais Coyne 1m14.4307s + 1.6805s
18. EJ Viso KV 1m14.4955s + 1.7453s
19. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m14.6531s + 1.9029s
20. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m14.6808s + 1.9306s
21. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m14.7969s + 2.0467s
22. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m14.8736s + 2.1234s
23. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m14.9225s + 2.1723s
24. James Jakes Coyne 1m15.0750s + 2.3248s
25. Simon Pagenaud Dreyer & Reinbold 1m15.2944s + 2.5442s
26. Raphael Matos AFS 1m15.2960s + 2.5458s