Dixon on top in opening Long Beach practice

Credit: Richard Dowdy / IndyCar

New Zealander Scott Dixon was fastest in the opening free practice session of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver set a best time of 1:07.6357s to head the field by 0.1252 seconds ahead of Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, while Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais, the race winner of the season opener around the streets of St. Petersburg last month, was third.

James Hinchcliffe made it four different teams inside the top four for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, while Penske’s Will Power completed the top five ahead of Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was sixth quickest for Andretti Autosport, 0.3485 seconds down on Dixon, while Tony Kanaan was eighth for Ganassi ahead of reigning champion and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud of Penske and Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt.

Aleshin was one of a few drivers to make mistakes during the session, with the Russian going straight on at turn one after locking up his brakes. The biggest error though was reserved for AJ Foyt Racing’s Carlos Muñoz, who spun at turn six, although he was able to avoid damage and the walls.

Max Chilton finished slowest of the twenty-one drivers after being black flagged early due to being too slow as a suspected electrical issue affected his Chip Ganassi Racing machine. He returned to the track later in the session to improve to a 1:09.7216s, but will be looking for better luck in the afternoon’s second session.

Long Beach Free Practice 1 Result

19Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:07.6357
23Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:07.7609
318Sebastien BourdaisFRADale Coyne Racing1:07.8187
45James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:07.8195
512Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:07.9058
698Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:07.9702
728Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:07.9842
810Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:08.0546
91Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:08.1668
107Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:08.1669
1115Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:08.1822
1227Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:08.2555
1314Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises1:08.2937
142Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske1:08.5295
1519Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing1:08.5507
1621JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:08.6284
1783Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:08.6898
1826Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport1:08.7292
194Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:08.9881
2020Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:09.2619
218Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:09.7216