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Toronto IndyCar: Dixon leads opening practice

Scott Dixon, five-time and reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion as well as defending Toronto winner, threw down the gauntlet by setting fastest time in first practice for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.

Toronto IndyCar: Dixon leads opening practice

The Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda driver lapped the 1.786-mile street course in 61.0723sec, an average speed of 105.278mph, to beat championship leader Josef Newgarden of Team Penske-Chevrolet.

Things did not initially go smoothly for Newgarden as he was one of three drivers to bring out the red flags with a spin at the final corner.

Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power had just set second fastest time of the session so far but after sliding around at extraordinary angles, the car got away from him out of the final corner and he did a 180-degree spin without hitting anything.

Teammate Newgarden was less lucky – he spun and stalled at the same place but not before tagging the wall with his right-rear and bending a toelink.

From the editor, also read:

Minutes later, Takuma Sato spun his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda at the same point and managed to miss the wall but ended up facing into the pit exit just as Marco Andretti was coming out. Taku, like Will and Josef, stalled and needed a bumpstart.

All three were parked for five minutes for causing session stoppages.

However, Newgarden nailed P2 with his final lap of the session to split the two Ganassi cars, as Felix Rosenqvist looked back on form with a time 0.1672 slower than teammate Dixon.

Alexander Rossi was fourth for Andretti Autosport-Honda, with 2017 Toronto polesitter Simon Pagenaud slotting the other Penske into fifth ahead of the second Andretti car of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Power managed to grab seventh with his final lap, albeit half a second slower than Newgarden, while Sebastien Bourdais, another former winner here, was eighth, ahead of Sato and Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

Local hero James Hinchcliffe was only 13th for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda.

Sage Karam, due to make his first non-oval IndyCar start in four years, was 2.9sec off the ultimate pace and around 1.8sec behind Carlin-Chevy teammate Max Chilton.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 New Zealand Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing 18 1'01.0723 105.278
2 United States Josef Newgarden
Team Penske 14 1'01.2138 0.1415 0.1415 105.035
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist
Chip Ganassi Racing 27 1'01.2395 0.1672 0.0257 104.991
4 United States Alexander Rossi
Andretti Autosport 16 1'01.3843 0.3120 0.1448 104.743
5 France Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske 16 1'01.4969 0.4246 0.1126 104.552
6 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport 15 1'01.6702 0.5979 0.1733 104.258
7 Australia Will Power
Team Penske 17 1'01.6841 0.6118 0.0139 104.234
8 France Sébastien Bourdais
Dale Coyne Racing 16 1'01.7180 0.6457 0.0339 104.177
9 Japan Takuma Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 1'01.8080 0.7357 0.0900 104.025
10 United States Spencer Pigot
Ed Carpenter Racing 18 1'01.8286 0.7563 0.0206 103.991
11 United States Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport 17 1'01.8747 0.8024 0.0461 103.913
12 United States Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 16 1'01.8883 0.8160 0.0136 103.890
13 Canada James Hinchcliffe
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 16 1'01.9302 0.8579 0.0419 103.820
14 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing 15 1'02.0513 0.9790 0.1211 103.617
15 United States Colton Herta
Harding Racing 23 1'02.0979 1.0256 0.0466 103.540
16 United Kingdom Max Chilton
Carlin 14 1'02.2369 1.1646 0.1390 103.308
17 United States Zach Veach
Andretti Autosport 14 1'02.4007 1.3284 0.1638 103.037
18 United States Santino Ferrucci
Dale Coyne Racing 18 1'02.4735 1.4012 0.0728 102.917
19 Sweden Marcus Ericsson
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 21 1'02.6955 1.6232 0.2220 102.553
20 Brazil Tony Kanaan
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 17 1'02.9165 1.8442 0.2210 102.193
21 Brazil Matheus Leist
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 17 1'03.0755 2.0032 0.1590 101.935
22 United States Sage Karam
Carlin 23 1'03.9765 2.9042 0.9010 100.499
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Series IndyCar
Event Toronto
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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