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:
|1||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m02.5591s||–||14|
|2||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m02.8416s||0.2825s||16|
|3||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m02.8545s||0.2954s||18|
|4||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m02.8748s||0.3157s||20|
|5||Sebastien Bourdais||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m02.9056s||0.3465s||20|
|6||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m02.9074s||0.3483s||16|
|7||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||1m02.9828s||0.4237s||16|
|8||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m03.0255s||0.4664s||17|
|9||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m03.1462s||0.5871s||10|
|10||Carlos Munoz||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m03.1495s||0.5904s||17|
|11||J.R. Hildebrand||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m03.1995s||0.6404s||15|
|12||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m03.2001s||0.6410s||15|
|13||Max Chilton||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m03.2146s||0.6555s||16|
|14||Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||1m03.3057s||0.7466s||16|
|15||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Herta||Dallara/Honda||1m03.3199s||0.7608s||13|
|16||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||1m03.3281s||0.7690s||11|
|17||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||1m03.4818s||0.9227s||20|
|18||Spencer Pigot||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m03.4909s||0.9318s||14|
|19||Ed Jones||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||1m03.6466s||1.0875s||15|
|20||Conor Daly||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Chevrolet||1m04.1205s||1.5614s||18|