Honda-powered drivers led the way in Verizon IndyCar Series practice Friday for the 40th annual running of the Grand Prix of Long Beach, with Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe pacing the opening, morning session and Simon Pagenaud claiming the honors for the second practice, and the day, in the afternoon session, aboard his Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Honda.
Honda drivers claimed four of the top six positions in each of the two hour-long sessions, with rookie Jack Hawksworth continuing to impress, ending the day third quickest for Bryan Herta Autosport. Defending race winner Takuma Sato was fourth for A.J. Foyt Racing, with Josef Newgarden sixth for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
Activities continue Saturday in Long Beach with a final practice session, followed by Firestone Fast Six qualifying that will set the 23-car field for Sunday’s 80-lap race. The second round ofthe 18-race 2014 season starts at 4 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.