Honda, Scott Dixon Set The Pace in Practice at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
• Dixon leads afternoon session and the day
• Marco Andretti paces morning practice
• 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series opens Sunday
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 10, 2017) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led the field in “opening day” practice to officially start the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season Friday in advance of Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Dixon’s best lap of 1:02.5591 around the waterfront St. Petersburg circuit was the quickest in the afternoon practice, as Honda drivers claimed six of the top 10 positions on the day. Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais ended Friday in third through fifth, respectively, with James Hinchcliffe seventh overall. Marco Andretti led the morning practice, and finished the day eighth overall.
Activities on the temporary street circuit continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying. Sunday’s 110-lap season-opening race starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on ABC.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think it started generally well. We’ve done some good homework in the offseason for ourselves, to see how the competition stacks up. I think tomorrow will be interesting once the other competitors turn it up. We’ll see where it goes. I was generally comfortable today, in a different rhythm from what I had here previously with the car. I think we can owe that to some fundamental changes we made throughout winter. At the end of the day, it’s still just Friday – it doesn’t pay anything, doesn’t mean anything. Hopefully what we learned today, we can continue on and help improve the car come tomorrow, and more importantly for the race on Sunday.”