Takuma Sato

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – In the Verizon IndyCar Series warmup leading to the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this afternoon, Takuma Sato’s No. 14 ABC Supply Honda for AJ Foyt Racing set the pace at 1 minute, 1.2361 seconds. 

But like every other session this weekend, the main storyline centered around Will Power. Power, who won the Verizon P1 Award the day before, sat out the morning practice due to illness. Veteran Oriol Servia replaced Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. A decision on whether Power will race will be announced later this morning. Should Power not be able to race, Servia will pilot the No. 12 car in the 110-lap event on the 1.8-mile temporary street course.

CLICK IT: Warmup Results

Servia has competed in 197 Indy car races over 16 seasons, with one win (Montreal, 2005) and 101 top-10 finishes to his credit. He competed in two races in 2015: the Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma with Andretti Autosport. His best lap of the morning session timed in at 1:01.9769, good enough for ninth quick.

The session was led by Sato’s No. 14 machine, barely. 2008 race winner Graham Rahal was second in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda, just one ten-thousandth of a second slower than Sato. Josef Newgarden was the fastest Chevrolet in third at 1:01.5723 (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing).

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, with 22 cars entered, is just hours away. Coverage of the season opener begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, available on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile App.