IndyCar’s second practice, heavily delayed by a track break-up, ended with Will Power on top of the speed charts, the Aussie bouncing back perfectly from his shunt in first practice.
Team Penske-Chevrolet’s 2014 champion edged Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevrolet’s reigning champ Scott Dixon in the final minute of the session, by a mere 0.0142sec.
Dixon, who has never won at St. Petersburg, was the first driver of the weekend to crack the 61sec barrier, and Power was the only driver to join him.
Third-fastest was this morning’s pacesetter, Simon Pagenaud in the #22 Penske, two tenths off Power but one tenth faster than Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, in the top Honda-powered entry.
AJ Foyt Racing-Honda continued to look strong with fifth and eighth for Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth respectively, while James Hinchcliffe completed his first official session day since his IMS shunt with a strong sixth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport-Honda.
Carlos Munoz was top of the Andretti Autosport quartet in seventh, with Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and rookie Alexander Rossi filling out places 11 through 13.
Until the climax of the session, the talk had been of the track break up in Turn 3, which caused a half-hour lull between the first 20 minutes and the last 40. The second red flag was caused by Rossi going down an escape road and needing a bumpstart.
Rookie Max Chilton did well to edge ahead of Ganassi teammate Charlie Kimball, although the pair were in P18 and 19. Conor Daly nipped Dale Coyne Racing-Honda Luca Filippi teammate for P20, after Filippi spun at the final hairpin. He and debutant Spencer Pigot were the only drivers not within one second of Power’s fastest lap.