Dixon leads Hunter-Reay in final Long Beach practice

Credit: Richard Dowdy / IndyCar

Scott Dixon set the fastest practice time in final practice ahead of qualifying for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, albeit by just 0.002 seconds from Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Overnight showers meant drivers had to search for grip once again around the legendary street circuit, but Dixon put his Chip Ganassi Racing machine to the top of the timing sheets with his best lap so far of the weekend of 1:07.1348s, albeit slightly down on the overall best of the weekend so far set by Will Power on Friday.

Hunter-Reay finished second fastest for Andretti Autosport ahead of defending Long Beach race winner Simon Pagenaud, who was the leading Team Penske driver in third, just 0.0365 seconds down on Dixon’s time.

The top six were all separated by less than one-tenth of a second, with James Hinchcliffe ending fourth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport ahead of Takuma Sato of Andretti Autosport and Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Friday pacesetter Power was seventh for Penske ahead of team-mate Josef Newgarden, whilst Sebastien Bourdais was ninth for Dale Coyne Racing despite stalling his car in between turns two and three following damage to his front wing, with the Frenchman recovering to the pits slowly whilst red flags flew.

The top ten was completed by Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who ended just 0.2575 seconds down on Dixon. In fact, such was the closeness of the field, twenty of the twenty one drivers were within one second of the pace, with Carlos Muñoz the only one outside one second, albeit by just 0.0338 seconds!

Another electrical issue affected Chip Ganassi Racing during the session, but unlike on Friday when it was Max Chilton who was affected, this time it was Tony Kanaan, who only managed five laps overall and finished down in fifteenth.

Long Beach Free Practice 3 Result

19Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:07.1348
228Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:07.1350
31Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:07.1713
45James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:07.1746
526Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport1:07.1855
615Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:07.2286
712Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:07.2639
82Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske1:07.3298
918Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing1:07.3428
1098Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:07.3923
113Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:07.5194
1283Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:07.5470
137Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:07.5581
144Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:07.6044
1510Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:07.6230
1620Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:07.7376
1727Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:07.8959
1819Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing1:08.0446
198Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:08.0731
2021JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:08.0997
2114Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises1:08.1686