Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led a Honda 1-5 during the morning portion of IndyCar’s pre-race weekend test day at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion, who has a remote chance of retaining the title, turned eight laps during the two-hour session under warm and sunny skies. Dixon’s best lap (1m11.0996s) was comfortably faster than Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta in second (+0.2885s), CGR teammate Felix Rosenqvist in third (+0.3683s) Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey in fourth (+0.4499s), and Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in fifth (+0.4675s).
First of the Chevy-powered drivers was Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in sixth (+0.5319s), as he and Rossi, who are vying for the 2019 championship this weekend, were well clear of points leader Josef Newgarden in 19th (+0.9377s).
Firestone has allocated four sets of new tires for veterans and five for rookies today, which has led most teams to limit their running in the morning and plan to spend most of their time on track during the four-hour afternoon session that will better replicate conditions during Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.
Barring a brief red flag for a car that spun and stalled, and Penske’s Will Power pitting to have a trackside advertising banner removed from the nose of his car, the session produced no drama.