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Scott Dixon, who hasn’t won on this track since the Indy Lights race in 2000, topped first practice for the 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The three-time IndyCar champion lapped the 1.968-mile course in 1min08.6458sec to set an average speed of 103.208mph.
Dixon led a Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevrolet 1-2, as Tony Kanaan was second, just 0.1618sec behind with the sixth of his 15 laps. Third fastest was Ryan Hunter-Reay, fastest of the Hondas at a track on which he always excels, and won in 2010. The Andretti Autosport driver did enough to push the Penske-Chevrolets into fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth, with Simon Pagenaud’s No.22 car leading The Captain’s quartet by a hundredth over reigning series champion Will Power.
Sebastian Saavedra, in his first IndyCar event of 2015, did a decent job in the No. 8 Ganassi car, most recently driven by 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam. Although 17th, the Colombian was only 0.77sec off his session-leading teammate Dixon.
A bigger stir was caused by Rocky Moran Jr., who has replaced Carlos Huertas for the weekend. He’s 2.5sec off the ultimate pace, but considering his last competitive open-wheel outing was a decade and a half ago, that was respectable, and put him 1.275 faster than redoubtable teammate, Francesco Dracone.
Notable by their absence were the tower-wings on the Chevrolet aero kits. This probably prevented one debris caution, when CFH Racing’s Luca Filippi made contact with something solid in the closing five minutes of the session, and crabbed his way back to the pits with a flopping front-left wing.
For results as PDF, click here.