Dixon Leads Honda 1-2-3 Result in Long Beach Practice
• Scott Dixon tops time charts in opening-day IndyCar Series action at Long Beach
• Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi round out top three for Honda
• Previous Long Beach winners James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato also post top-six times
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2018) – The Honda-powered trio of Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi led the way Friday in “opening day” Verizon IndyCar Series practice today in preparation for Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Defending race winner James Hinchcliffe and 2013 Long Beach winner Takuma Sato made it five Hondas in the top six at the end of the day.
Unlike most temporary street circuits, where lap times generally get quicker with each session as racing rubber builds on the track to generate more traction, it was this morning’s opening practice that produced the fastest times for all but three drivers in the 24-car field. But it was a Honda driver at the top of the time charts in both sessions, with Dixon leading the morning – and overall – with Rossi leading the way in the afternoon practice to finish the day third overall.
Activities on the temporary street circuit continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying. Sunday’s 85-lap race starts at 4 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) quickest in opening-day practice: “The PNC Bank car was fast right out of the box. We went out and were quick in our first run, then improved upon that in the second run. It’s a big weekend for Honda, so we’ll try to get the most out of it for them and for the team. The [new, universal aero kit bodywork] cars are so fun to drive now. The track is really awesome without the added downforce. The braking zones are a bit bigger and the power-down is impressive, especially out of the hairpin corner. I think come around Lap 20, drivers are going to be screaming for new tires! It’s great to be back here overall. Great cars, great atmosphere, and being out there pounding around the Long Beach city streets.”