WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 2, 2010) - Team Penske got off to a promising start Friday during the first day of practice for the Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International.
Ryan Briscoe led the way with the fastest lap of the session - 1:31.4142 (132.714 mph) - in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Helio Castroneves gave the team a 1-2 punch at the top of the leaderboard as he clocked the second-fastest lap at 1:31.4974 in the No. 3 Team Penske machine. Will Power owned the sixth-fastest lap of 1:31.9317 around the 2.45-mile picturesque road course driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda.
Briscoe has a solid record at the historic Watkins Glen circuit, having won the pole position the last two years and having second- and third-place finishes on his resume at The Glen.
"I'd like to keep things going the way we had it last year, when we ended up with the pole and ran second in the race," said Briscoe. "I'd just like to see myself in contention for the win. This is my favorite track on the calendar, and it would be pretty special to win here."
Castroneves indicated that all three Team Penske cars opened the weekend with a strong setup, but cautioned that more work needs to be done before Sunday's race.
"It's great for Team Penske to start on the right track with the setup," said Castroneves, who has started from the pole three times in his career at Watkins Glen. "There's still a long way to go. The track is getting better and better but having a good base and solid setup helps you improve the car with each change. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day for us too, and the car will get better and better as well."
Power, who leads the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings, said he would have liked to have turned more practice laps. Because of numerous caution periods, Power managed only 13 laps. Castroneves had 12 laps and Briscoe 11. The team also didn't practice for the early part of the hour-long afternoon practice as the track came up to temperature.
"That was a good starting session, although we did not anticipate all the yellow flags," said Power. "I would have liked to have a few more laps, but we have a good read on the Verizon car and plenty to think about overnight. We are in good shape for tomorrow."
After a morning practice session on Saturday, qualifying for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen will begin at 1:15 p.m. ET. The race is scheduled to begin Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised live by ABC.