Indycar: Dixon tops Friday practice at St. Petersburg

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon recorded the quickest time in an interrupted second practice session for the IndyCar season-opener on the streets of St Petersburg.

The New Zealander put in a 1m02.559s early in the 45-minute session, which was limited to only 35 minutes of running as a result of a red flag.

New Andretti recruit Takuma Sato locked up and hit the wall at Turn 13 while on his first lap of the circuit early on in the session.

That impact destroyed the left-front corner of Sato’s car and brought out the red flag for just under 10 minutes while it was recovered to the pits.

Once track activity resumed, Dixon moved to the top of the timesheets and his early lap on the primary black tyre proved unbeatable by the end of the session.

New rules for 2017 mean the softer, red tyre was used in second practice for the first time since the alternate tyre’s introduction and the majority of the best laps – Dixon’s aside – were set on the compound.

Penske’s Will Power bounced back from his Turn 10 crash in the opening practice session to finish second-fastest in practice two.

Two-time St Petersburg winner Power wound up 0.282 seconds behind Dixon, with Tony Kanaan in third and Charlie Kimball next up.

Dale Coyne Racing recruit Sebastien Bourdais finished three and a half tenths off the outright pace to complete the top five.

Following a low-key debut for Penske in first practice, Josef Newgarden ended the second session in sixth, while James Hinchcliffe made a late improvement to jump to seventh.

Practice one pacesetter Marco Andretti put in the eighth-quickest time, with 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud and AJ Foyt’s Carlos Munoz rounding out the top 10.

PRACTICE TWO TIMES:

POSDRIVERTEAMCARTIMEGAPLAPS
1Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda1m02.5591s14
2Will PowerTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet1m02.8416s0.2825s16
3Tony KanaanChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda1m02.8545s0.2954s18
4Charlie KimballChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda1m02.8748s0.3157s20
5Sebastien BourdaisDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda1m02.9056s0.3465s20
6Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet1m02.9074s0.3483s16
7James HinchcliffeSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda1m02.9828s0.4237s16
8Marco AndrettiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda1m03.0255s0.4664s17
9Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet1m03.1462s0.5871s10
10Carlos MunozAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet1m03.1495s0.5904s17
11J.R. HildebrandEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet1m03.1995s0.6404s15
12Helio CastronevesTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet1m03.2001s0.6410s15
13Max ChiltonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda1m03.2146s0.6555s16
14Mikhail AleshinSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda1m03.3057s0.7466s16
15Alexander RossiAndretti HertaDallara/Honda1m03.3199s0.7608s13
16Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda1m03.3281s0.7690s11
17Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda1m03.4818s0.9227s20
18Spencer PigotEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet1m03.4909s0.9318s14
19Ed JonesDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda1m03.6466s1.0875s15
20Conor DalyAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet1m04.1205s1.5614s18

Indycar: Dixon tops Friday practice at St. Petersburg

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