IndyCar’s new number one led the opening practice session of the 2013 season. Ryan Hunter-Reay led an Andretti Autosport 1-2, a best of 1:02.4534 around the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit, ahead of teammate James Hinchcliffe.
The top 22 of the 25 cars entered were within one second. Andretti’s other two drivers were also strong, with E.J. Viso in fourth and Marco Andretti in 10th.
Will Power was third and Tony Kanaan in fifth completed an all-Chevrolet top five.
The top Honda runner was Dario Franchitti in sixth, ahead of Simona de Silvestro (Chevrolet), Josef Newgarden (Honda), Sebastien Bourdais and Andretti (Chevrolet).
Only Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter and Ana Beatriz were outside one second of Hunter-Reay in the opening practice session. Practice two goes green at 2:40 p.m. EST.
Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.
This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.
Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.
IMS President J. Douglas Boles
“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.
“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”