Marco Andretti opened this weekend’s IndyCar round at Texas Motor Speedway by setting the fastest time in the first practice session.
Andretti went to the top early on with his 24.0440s effort to shade Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan by just 0.0412 second. Will Power, James Jakes and Simona de Silvestro completed the top five.
Speeds were well up on last year, with the top nine cars all beating Alex Tagliani’s 2012 pole lap of 215.691mph. Andretti’s fastest time was more than two mph quicker at 217.950mph.
The session was interrupted three times for track inspections after two cars reported cut tires. One of those affected was reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who parked his car with 15 minutes remaining to avoid depleting his tire allocation after sustaining damage to his right-front Firestone.