Will Power returned to the top of the times in Saturday morning’s third practice session for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. The Team Penske driver led the way with a lap of 1m07.343s in his Chevrolet-powered Verizon No. 12 to eclipse the Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda of Robert Wickens – rebounding striongly from the mechanical issues that limited his running time yesterday – by 0.22s in a session run in sunny conditions.
Hondas swept the rest of the top five, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon taking third ahead of the Andretti Autosport entries of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi. However, Power felt that the formbook could be scambled again for qualifying by the ever-changing weather conditions.
“Once the track temp goes up or the wind changes a little bit, it really changes the balance of the car,” noted Power, who has four career poles at Barber. “I don’t even know what it’s going to be like for qualifying – it’s been such an up-and-down weekend for us in that respect, as far as getting a consistent car.
“It’s probably the most fun track we race at – very high-g; we put on all the downforce we can on the car here. To me it’s very technical, a lot of fun, but very tough to get the car right.”
Although the gusty winds that troubled the drivers yesterday at Barber were calmer in practice, the session was interrupted by another spin in Turn 5, this time for Ed Jones’ Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, while Jordan King went over the gravel trap and into the wall with his Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy in Turn 2, sustaining minor damage to the left front.
“I’m annoyed really,” King told IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”
UP NEXT: Qualifying at 4 p.m. ET.