The mind games have begun in the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Will Power, the defending race champion, waited until the last possible moment on Friday to put alternate “soft” Firestone tires on his No. 12 Penske Racing Dallara Honda.
What that did was catapult him to the top of the leader board in practice in front of the rival Ganassi Racing team that he is battling for first place in the championship points.
“I don’t think we were playing games,” Power said. “But if (Ganassi) thinks that then I guess it works for us.”
The top speed on Friday puts Power in a position to choose a more favourable starting position for qualifying on Saturday.
Power’s lap of one minute, .5581 seconds around Exhibition Place’s 2.824-km circuit, was an unofficial record.
Ganassi’s Scott Dixon was second fastest at 1:00.665 with Dario Franchitti third at 1:00.974.
Canadian rookie James Hinchcliffe was fourth fastest at 1:01.005.
Montreal’s Alex Tagliani was 14th fastest at 1:01.429 with Toronto Paul Tracy 17th at 1:01.514.