Scott Dixon went quickest with his 12th lap in Thursday afternoon’s second practice for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver lapped the 2.439-mile course in 1min10.4654sec at a speed of 124.606mph to edge Schmidt Peterson Motorsport ace Simon Pagenaud by less than 0.1sec.
“They’ve done a great job with the track, one, with the grip level, and two, with the way it’s going to race,” said Dixon. “The car is decent. It’s always hard to know what strategies people are on, and it was hard to get a good lap at the end with so much traffic, but hopefully we’ll have a good shot at pole tomorrow. Maybe the weather conditions will be interesting, too. We’ll see.”
An exciting session saw several drivers outbrake themselves and occasionally take to the grass, and fortunes changed radically throughout the 45-minute session. SPM’s second driver Mikhail Aleshin headed the time sheets for much of the session, then dropped as low as 19th as others improved, before bouncing back to P4, with a time just 0.1sec behind Team Penske’s Will Power, the current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader.
Aside from Dixon and Power, the top 10 looked Honda-heavy, with three of the Andretti Autosport cars in there, along with Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson. Perhaps the surprise of the session was Graham Rahal going sixth fastest for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The proviso in all these times is that when the track was at its fastest, it was also at its busiest, and drivers were tripping over each other, especially after getting a major tow down the front straight.
Notable for their progress today, when compared with the April 30 test session, were series returnees Martin Plowman (in a second AJ Foyt Racing car) and Franck Montagny (driving a fifth Andretti Autosport car) who were only around 0.75 off Dixon’s fastest lap. The tight nature of the field is reflected in the fact that this still meant they were P21 and P22…