Ganassi's Scott Dixon Fastest In Practice For Long Beach Grand Prix

Teammate Felix Rosenqvist Third Fastest

Scott Stiller
April 12, 2019 - 10:11 pm
Scott Dixon In The No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda At Long Beach

Stephen King-IndyCar Series

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Long Beach, CA (93.7 The Fan) - PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon was fastest in practice on Friday for the NTT IndyCar Series Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dixon’s lap of 1:07.7940-seconds (104.505 MPH) in the second session was a tick faster than Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay’s lap of 1:07.8434 (104.429), also in the second session. Both drivers were fast in the first session, with Hunter-Reay leading Dixon.

“I think it was only an average run,” said Dixon, the five-time series Champion.  “We ran long, and the grip felt high, but I made a pretty big mistake in the first two laps.  But the PNC Bank car was strong, and it was good this morning.”

“It was a good starting point,” said Hunter-Reay.  “We made some changes to it trying to find what to do, what not to do, as you regularly would on a street course.  The tricky part of a street course is you have to keep up with the racetrack.  As you go through the weekend, it’s constantly changing conditions.  So, it was a good first day, definitely learned a lot.”

Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist was third fastest on the day in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda with a lap of 1:07.8867 (104.362) in the second session and was also the fastest rookie on the day.

“This is kind of a technical circuit, for sure,” said Rosenqvist. “In the second practice on blacks (Firestone primary tires), it felt not the best, but then on reds (Firestone alternate tires) it seemed like we had a lot of pace.  Scott (Dixon) in P1 and me in P3 and I think I had kind of a dodgy run and still, I was able to go to P3, and we didn’t really wait until the end when the track was the best.  So, I think that is promising for tomorrow.”

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who won the season opener on the street of St. Petersburg, was fourth fastest in the No. 2 Hitachi Chevy with a lap of 1:07.9648 (104.242) and was happy afterwards.

“It was a good day,” said Newgarden.  “The car feels really good.  The Hitachi Chevy boys have worked really well this weekend.  We just need to stay on top of it.  I think we’re going to have a great car tomorrow for qualifying and try to set ourselves up nicely for the race.”

Rookie Patricio O’Ward rounded out the top 5 with a lap of 1:08.0303 (104.142) in his Chevrolet for Carlin Racing.

“This place is a blast,” said O’Ward.  “You have to be precise because here you don’t have grass, you have a wall.  It’s pretty tough to get around here with a perfect lap but I’m enjoying so far.  Looking forward to the event.  All I hear is good things about this place.”

Drivers and teams have one more practice session on Saturday before qualifying Saturday afternoon with the race Sunday afternoon.

 

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