Scott Dixon had a clean fast session and wound up on top of the heap in Friday morning’s opening practice period for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, while Josef Newgarden overcame a spin and five-minute penalty to post the second-fastest lap around Exhibition Place.
Dixon vaulted to the top in the closing minutes with a lap of 1m01.072 in his Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Honda – just a fraction quicker than Newgarden’s best of 1m01.213s in the Penske Hitachi Chevy.
“I think we could have gone even quicker with a clear track early on, but my car is good and Felix (Rosenqvist) also did a good job, so a good start to the weekend,” said the 38-year-old veteran and three-time winner here on the temporary street circuit.
It was an eventful 45-minutes for Team Penske as Will Power and Newgarden both spun exiting Turn 11, as did Rahal’s Takuma Sato. Power, who wound up seventh-fastest, didn’t make any contact with the walls and neither did Sato, but points leader Newgarden brushed the fence and bent the right-rear toe link.
Rosenqvist had been quick the whole session before bolting on some new tires and turning 1m01.239s in the Ganassi NTT Honda, and Alexander Rossi was fourth-fastest at 1m01.385s as the first 14 cars were separated by 0.9s.
Sage Karam, making his first non-Indy 500 start since 2015, was slowest of the 22 cars as he got familiar with the Carlin Racing crew and a track he hadn’t run on since 2013 in Indy Lights.