Ryan Hunter-Reay set the pace in the opening practice session for this weekend’s IndyCar race at Sonoma.
The Andretti driver claimed the top spot with a best lap of 1m18.6814s, a scant 0.01 second faster than closest rival Helio Castroneves’ Penske entry. Dario Franchitti, who topped the times in Wednesday’s open test, was third fastest ahead of Marco Andretti.
Ryan Briscoe, still recovering from the wrist injury that sidelined him at Mid-Ohio, returns to the cockpit for Panther Racing this weekend and led the middle phase of the session before finishing up with the fifth-best time.
Former Panther driver JR Hildebrand was ninth fastest in his first session with Bryan Herta Autosport.
Series debutant Lucas Luhr survived one brief off-track moment at Turn 2 in the second Sarah Fisher Hartman entry and finished up 25th, 2.2sec off Hunter-Reay’s time.
The morning was interrupted just once by red flags when the session was briefly stopped to allow a stray tire to be retrieved from Turn 9.
Pos Driver Team/Engine Time Gap 1. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy 1m18.6814s 2. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 1m18.6976s +0.0162s 3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda 1m18.8124s +0.1310s 4. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy 1m18.9740s +0.2926s 5. Ryan Briscoe Panther/Chevy 1m19.0182s +0.3368s 6. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1m19.0318s +0.3504s 7. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy 1m19.0834s +0.4020s 8. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy 1m19.0976s +0.4162s 9. JR Hildebrand Herta/Honda 1m19.1567s +0.4753s10. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy 1m19.1968s +0.5154s11. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 1m19.3398s +0.6584s12. Will Power Penske/Chevy 1m19.4268s +0.7454s13. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 1m19.4952s +0.8138s14. James Jakes Rahal/Honda 1m19.4977s +0.8163s15. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 1m19.5009s +0.8195s16. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda 1m19.5590s +0.8776s17. Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevy 1m19.5990s +0.9176s18. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy 1m19.6014s +0.9200s19. James Davison Coyne/Honda 1m19.7624s +1.0810s20. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy 1m19.8950s +1.2136s21. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 1m19.9330s +1.2516s22. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1m20.0155s +1.3341s23. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda 1m20.2088s +1.5274s24. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 1m20.2279s +1.5465s25. Lucas Luhr Fisher/Honda 1m20.9336s +2.2522s