Hinchcliffe tops chart preceding qualifications

James HinchcliffeJames Hinchcliffe spent much of the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park stranded in the infield because of an on-track incident. It was a great vantage point to watch the remainder of the 90-lap race, but being a spectator wasn’t what the Andretti Autosport driver wanted — especially after earning his first series victory two weeks earlier at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Toronto native, who started 20th last April, is making strides to start much higher April 27 in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car. In the practice preceding qualifications for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Hinchcliffe turned the quickest lap of the weekend at 1 minute, 7.9206 seconds to top the 23-car field on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn course.

Four different teams were represented in the top 5 and the top 18 cars were separated by less than one second.

The three rounds of qualifications, featuring the Firestone Fast Six to determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and the first three rows for the 90-lap race, starts at 3 p.m. (ET).

Sebastien Bourdais, who was second quick through two practices April 25 in the No. 11 Hydroxycut/KVSH Racing car, was .1084 of a second behind Hinchcliffe in the morning session. Scott Dixon, whose No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car experienced electrical issues 24 hours earlier that limited laps, was third quick. The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion has been the race runner-up each of the four years at Barber.

Hinchcliffe’s teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, who topped both 45-minute sessions April 25, was sixth on the time sheet in the No. 28 DHL car. Hunter-Reay won the race last year from the pole. Hinchcliffe had a great view of Hunter-Reay crossing under the twin checkered flags

Results From Practice 3:

Pos. Car # Driver Best Speed Best Time Behind Total  Laps
1 27 James Hinchcliffe 121.907 1:07.9206 Leader 15
2 11 Sebastien Bourdais 121.713 1:08.0290 0.1084 19
3 9 Scott Dixon 121.601 1:08.0916 0.1710 14
4 3 Hello Castroneves 121.477 1:08.1611 0.2405 21
5 12 Will Power 121.466 1:08.1670 0.2464 22
6 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 121.415 1:08.1956 0.2750 14
7 77 Simon Pagenaud 121.393 1:08.2083 0.2877 20
8 67 Josef Newgarden 121.249 1:08.2891 0.3685 17
9 14 Takuma Sato 121.186 1:08.3245 0.4039 23
10 8 Ryan Briscoe 121.093 1:08.3774 0.4568 16
11 34 Carlos Munoz (R) 120.972 1:08.4454 0.5248 17
12 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 120.859 1:08.5097 0.5891 17
13 19 Justin Wilson 120.813 1:08.5359 0.6153 20
14 83 Charlie Kimball 120.665 1:08.6198 0.6992 19
15 15 Graham Rahal 120.659 1:08.6229 0.7023 20
16 7 Mikhall Aleshin (R) 120.562 1:08.6785 0.7579 17
17 16 Oriol Servia 120.444 1:08.7458 0.8252 18
18 20 Mike Conway 120.375 1:08.7848 0.8642 20
19 25 Marco Andretti 120.099 1:08.9432 1.0226 10
20 17 Sebastion Saavedra 119.998 1:09.0011 1.0805 18
21 10 Tony Kanaan 119.958 1:09.0241 1.1035 13
22 98 Jack Hawksworth (R) 119.556 1:09.2564 1.3358 17
23 18 Carlos Huertas (R) 119.502 1:09.2878 1.3672 19

 

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