Will Power snatched the fastest time away from Dario Franchitti (LEFT) in the closing seconds of the IndyCar Series' opening practice session in Sao Paulo.
In mostly dry conditions in Brazil, Ganassi driver Franchitti looked like he had done enough to end the morning on top with a 1m22.3953s lap. But his 2010 and '11 title rival Will Power (Penske) demoted him with a 1m22.3875s – just 0.0078sec quicker – as the chequered flag flew.
Franchitti's teammate Scott Dixon took third despite sitting out the first part of the session and later having to pit with a damaged tire.
Simon Pagenaud continued his excellent form the Schmidt-Hamilton team with fourth place, ahead of Long Beach qualifying star Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing), as four Honda-powered cars followed Chevrolet-engined pacesetter Power.
A quartet of Chevrolets were next up, with top local Helio Castroneves (Penske) in sixth, then Andretti duo Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti sandwiching Panther's JR Hildebrand.
James Jakes took an impressive 10th for Dale Coyne Racing, while his teammate Justin Wilson had led most of the opening half hour, reserved for rookies and drivers outside the top 10 in the championship.
The session saw two red flags, the first after Oriol Servia's Dreyer & Reinbold car – starting its final event with Lotus power – stopped on course, and the second when Ganassi's Graham Rahal slid into the tires.
Sebastien Bourdais was the fastest Lotus runner in 19th for Dragon Racing. Series returnee Ana Beatriz took 21st on her debut in Andretti Autosport's additional fourth car.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevy 1m22.3875s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m22.3953s + 0.0078s
3. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m22.7862s + 0.3987s
4. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 1m22.8190s + 0.4315s
5. Josef Newgarden Fisher DW12-Honda 1m22.8774s + 0.4899s
6. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevy 1m23.0390s + 0.6515s
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m23.0434s + 0.6559s
8. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevy 1m23.0985s + 0.7110s
9. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m23.1406s + 0.7531s
10. James Jakes Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 1m23.1655s + 0.7780s
11. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m23.2038s + 0.8163s
12. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevy 1m23.2890s + 0.9015s
13. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevy 1m23.3308s + 0.9433s
14. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevy 1m23.3647s + 0.9772s
15. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 1m23.3666s + 0.9791s
16. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevy 1m23.6634s + 1.2759s
17. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda 1m23.6999s + 1.3124s
18. Charlie Kimball Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m23.7520s + 1.3645s
19. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m24.0442s + 1.6567s
20. Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda 1m24.1547s + 1.7672s
21. Ana Beatriz Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m24.1665s + 1.7790s
22. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m24.5634s + 2.1759s
23. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 1m24.6815s + 2.2940s
24. Oriol Servia Dreyer & Reinbold DW12-Lotus 1m24.8492s + 2.4617s
25. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevy 1m25.0994s + 2.7119s
26. Katherine Legge Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m26.0529s + 3.6654s