Andretti, Sato lead the way for Honda in Long Beach practice

Andretti, Sato lead the way for Honda in Long Beach practice
• Marco Andretti posts second-quickest lap in the second practice session
• Takuma Sato runs fourth, Ryan Hunter-Reay fifth in tight field
• Dixon leads morning practice as Honda drivers claim six of the top eight positions

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 7, 2017) – Marco Andretti led the way for Honda in opening Verizon IndyCar Series practice for Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, posting the second-fastest lap of the day in his Andretti Autosport Honda. Teammates Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the day fourth and fifth, respectively, in a closely-bunched field.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led the field in morning practice, as Honda drivers claimed six of the top eight positions in the first of two IndyCar sessions Friday on the Long Beach temporary street circuit. St. Petersburg race winner Sebastien Bourdais was third in the morning session, and eighth overall on the day. Other Honda drivers in the top eight in the morning included James Hinchcliffe, fourth; Alexander Rossi, sixth; Hunter-Reay, seventh; and Tony Kanaan, eighth.

Activities on the temporary street circuit continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying. Sunday’s 80-lap race starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Marco Andretti (Andretti Auto Sport Honda): “The UFD car is on edge, but I think that’s where we need to be, to be quick. I like the predictability of the car. I felt like I could drive it to the limit, which is important to be able to wring it out in qualifying. I’m pleased with the pace and the speed we had all through testing, so it’s good to keep the pace here and back it up. We really need to convert this pace into results, and I really think we can.”