Dixon motivated to continue Championship charge, tops second Sonoma Practice

A late flyer from Scott Dixon earned the New Zealander bragging rights following the second IndyCar practice session at Sonoma.

The Ganassi driver leaned on a new set of tyres to reel off a 1m18.3145s, enough to edge out Helio Castroneves’ best time by 0.3 seconds.

“I think both [Ganassi] cars have been pretty quick,” said Dixon. “I don’t think Dario [Franchitti] even ran a second set of tyres and he was still in the top seven.

“We just seemed to get our car together a bit on our first set of new tyres in that session – it’s really about getting your lap together.”

A combination of wind, a general lack of grip, and what Dixon described as a ‘mismatched’ specification of tyre for the track left most of the field scrambling to put together consistent laps, and several drivers made brief forays off the track during the course of the session.

Only Ryan Briscoe’s trip into the dirt warranted a red flag, but even that was brief, and the Australian was able to get himself back onto the track and continue running without any problems.

Series debutant Lucas Luhr again finished up 25th-fastest in the second Sarah Fisher Hartman entry, and while the sportscar ace admitted that he is still finding his groove, he rued the timing of the red flag.

“For sure it’s not so easy,” he said. “It’s a new experience for me and these cars have a whole different driving style. But I’m enjoying it.

“It’s just a shame that in practice I was just going out on new tyres when we had the red, so we don’t know what our pace really is.”

Pos  Driver               Team/Engine      Time        Gap
 1.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi/Honda    1m18.3145s
 2.  Helio Castroneves    Penske/Chevy     1m18.6694s  +0.3549s
 3.  Will Power           Penske/Chevy     1m18.7454s  +0.4309s
 4.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti/Chevy   1m18.7766s  +0.4621s
 5.  Justin Wilson        Coyne/Honda      1m18.8704s  +0.5559s
 6.  Graham Rahal         Rahal/Honda      1m18.9844s  +0.6699s
 7.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi/Honda    1m19.0542s  +0.7397s
 8.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt/Honda    1m19.0719s  +0.7574s
 9.  EJ Viso              Andretti/Chevy   1m19.1347s  +0.8202s
10.  Ryan Briscoe         Panther/Chevy    1m19.1502s  +0.8357s
11.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti/Chevy   1m19.3336s  +1.0191s
12.  Tristan Vautier      Schmidt/Honda    1m19.3366s  +1.0221s
13.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi/Honda    1m19.3958s  +1.0813s
14.  Takuma Sato          Foyt/Honda       1m19.3989s  +1.0844s
15.  JR Hildebrand        Herta/Honda      1m19.4191s  +1.1046s
16.  Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon/Chevy     1m19.4301s  +1.1156s
17.  James Jakes          Rahal/Honda      1m19.4673s  +1.1528s
18.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon/Chevy     1m19.4744s  +1.1599s
19.  Tony Kanaan          KV/Chevy         1m19.4947s  +1.1802s
20.  Marco Andretti       Andretti/Chevy   1m19.5942s  +1.2797s
21.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter/Chevy  1m19.6785s  +1.3640s
22.  Simona de Silvestro  KV/Chevy         1m19.7767s  +1.4622s
23.  James Davison        Coyne/Honda      1m19.8469s  +1.5324s
24.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher/Honda     1m19.8615s  +1.5470s
25.  Lucas Luhr           Fisher/Honda     1m20.6459s  +2.3314s

Dixon motivated to continue Championship charge, tops second Sonoma Practice

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