Dixon hits the front in FP2 as Chip Ganassi Racing impress

Scott Dixon was fastest in second practice at St Petersburg - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

Scott Dixon set the pace in second practice for this weekend’s first Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season around the streets of St. Petersburg.

The four-time IndyCar champion hit the front in his Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing entry with a time of 1:02.5991, which was even more impressive in the fact he set the lap time on the supposedly slower black-walled Firestone tyre as opposed to the faster red-walled tyre.

Dixon was 0.2825 seconds faster than second-placed Will Power, who after crashing and compromising his first session was much more on the pace in the second session for the Team Penske.

Chip Ganassi Racing enjoyed a strong session overall, with Dixon’s team-mates Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball ending up third and fourth fastest respectively, separated by just 0.0203 seconds, while Sebastian Bourdais made it four Honda-powered cars inside the top five on his return to Dale Coyne Racing.

New Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden was sixth fastest ahead of James Hinchcliffe, who put in a late flying lap to move up to seventh for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, while opening practice pacesetter Marco Andretti was eighth fastest for Andretti Autosport.

Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud made it three Penske machines inside the top ten, which was rounded out by AJ Foyt Racing’s Carlos Muñoz.

As in the first session of the day, the 45-minutes did not go completely to plan for all drivers, with Takuma Sato causing a delay when he crashed into the wall at turn thirteen after locking up his wheels. The Andretti Autosport driver saw his session ended without a time being set as a result, with the front left corner of his car being left damaged.

Streets of St. Petersburg Free Practice 2 Result

19Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:02.5591
212Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:02.8416
310Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:02.8545
483Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:02.8748
518Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing1:02.9056
62Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske1:02.9074
75James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:02.9828
827Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:03.0255
91Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:03.1462
1014Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises1:03.1495
1121JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:03.1995
123Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:03.2001
138Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:03.2146
147Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:03.3057
1598Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:03.3199
1628Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:03.3281
1715Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:03.4818
1820Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:03.4909
1919Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing1:03.6466
204Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:04.1205
2126Takuma SatoJAPAndretti AutosportNo Time