Hunter-Reay Top Speedster At Long Beach

Long Beach, Calif. – Ryan Hunter-Reay kicked off the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend by turning the fastest lap in IZOD IndyCar Series practice on Friday. Sunday’s race will mark the fourth round of the season for the open wheel stars.

Hunter-Reay blazed around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course at a speed of 100.302 miles per hour driving the Team IZOD car fielded by Andretti Autosport. In addition to his fast laps, he also had a brush with a tire barrier.

“The track was better than it was this morning, but it is only practice,” Hunter-Reay said. “Throughout the last session, we worked on developing the car, and it was back to what we know worked.” In the first practice session, he was eighth on the speed charts.

Concerning the tire-barrier incident, he stated, “We were working on the front of the car trying to get as much grip as we could. I thought I had saved it, but we ended up doing a lazy spin.”

The Florida resident is doing double-duty this weekend, driving the Level 5 Motorsports Oreca in the ALMS portion of the weekend program.

Ryan Briscoe had the second fastest lap speed in the Team Penske car. The Australian’s speed was 100.212 mph.

“This is the first step toward beating No. 12 (teammate Will Power),” he said. “Will’s the one to beat in qualifying, and he’s very strong. As a team we are strong, and we are pushing each other. For me, I have to step up my game in qualifying, and I feel better here already. To get my first win, I have to step it up in qualifying.”

Tony Kanaan put another Andretti Autosport into the third spot at 100.162 mph and Alex Tagliani was fourth at 100.068 mph, the last car to top the 100-mark.

Power timed fifth ahead of Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti, Mario Moraes, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.

Andretti Autosport drivers Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick were 12th and 23rd, respectively.

In addition to Hunter-Reay’s on-track incident, Franchitti and Bertrand Baguette struck tire barriers.

Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be telecast live on VERSUS at 3:30 p. M. ET.

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