At the end of a pair of practices for the Augie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, it’d be three-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon topped the charts with a lap of one minute and 10.6971 seconds.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course can be abrasive on the Firestone tires here so we chose to wait until the end of the session this morning,” he said. “I think you saw a lot of cars going out with about 45 minutes or so remaining in the morning session. Also, the aero kits should tick the speeds up a bit here, and the draft should really be improved as you’re able to close from a further gap back to the car in front of you. Overall a good practice day today to start the weekend for the Grand Prix and I’m pretty happy with the Target car.”
Dixon has been quick this year so far for Chip Ganassi Racing, scoring a victory already on the season. Dixon’s lap was about a second off of the track record set by Simon Pagenaud in the inaugural event a year ago.
Will Power was second quickest as the Team Penske driver looks to bounce back following a pair of off-weekends, despite showing speed capable of winning.
“Whenever you get on the road course, you realize this is one of the nicest places we come,” Power commented. “It’s so smooth. It’s like a European-style track. I really love it. It’s a lot of fun, really technical. From my side, a reasonable window. Definitely hard to tell. Struggled there a little bit at the end with the setup. Maybe went the wrong direction. But still got another practice session to work it out. We’ll have a good look at all the data overnight and see what we can come up with.”
His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya was third quickest as he enters the weekend with the points lead. Montoya had his first finish of the year outside of the top 10 two weeks ago following a pit road speeding penalty.
“I am happy with the way we ended practice with the Verizon Chevy, but we had our fair share of struggles today,” he admitted. “We had some brake issues that took a while to overcome, but we made them better over the course of the day. The handling of the car improved during the day as well. Really comfortable with the way we ended practice and I’m happy with our direction for tomorrow.”
Sebastien Bourdais, who led the first practice, timed in fourth quickest as he looks to deliver KV Racing their first win of the year.
“It was a pretty good day for the Circle K/Mistic machine,” he commented. “We were quick off the truck and sustained that pace throughout the day. We tried a bunch of things, but we didn’t really make a lot of headway because the track condition wouldn’t allow it. We made some progress on the balance of the car and I believe we are in good shape. Some guys put new tires on at the end and we didn’t because we didn’t have any left. Overall, pretty happy with the car and looking forward to a good weekend.”
Helio Castroneves rounded out the top-five, followed by Simon Pagenaud, Sebastian Saavedra, Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball. Grand Prix of Alabama winner Josef Newgarden was 18th on the chart.