Dixon leads Herta in IndyCar’s Laguna Seca morning test

Dixon leads Herta in IndyCar’s Laguna Seca morning test

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon set the fastest time of the morning session at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with rookies Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist completing the top three.

Given the cold and rain-halted test back in February, this was the first reasonably representative lapping at the 2.238-mile road course on the Monterey Peninsula since it returned to the topline U.S. open-wheel calendar for the first time since 2004.

That said, most drivers saved their Firestones until the second hour to allow track temperatures to rise to a more typical afternoon level. Dixon lapped the course in 1min11.100sec, an average speed of 113.317mph, on his fourth of just eight laps.

That put him 0.2885sec clear of Herta’s Harding Steinbrenner Racing-Honda, and 0.37 ahead of Ganassi teammate Rosenqvist.

Jack Harvey kept up his momentum from Portland with a fine fourth for Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM, ahead of Alexander Rossi’s Andretti Autosport-Honda.

Rossi and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay – who finished the session only 17th – swapped cars at one point, their times in each others’ cars clocking 22nd and 26th times. The two cars were running radically different setups and the team decided that was the most time-efficient way to decide on the best package for the weekend, given that Rossi and RHR have similar taste in car handling.

Championship contender Simon Pagenaud and his Penske teammate Will Power were fastest Chevrolet-powered runners in sixth and seventh, but over half a second off Dixon’s best.

James Hinchcliffe was eighth for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda ahead of another rookie, Santino Ferrucci of Dale Coyne Racing-Honda.

Hinch’s teammate Marcus Ericsson turned the most laps in the session at 27 and finished the session 15th, just ahead of Penske’s points leader, Josef Newgarden.

The afternoon session will run from 1.30pm local (PT) through to 5.30pm.

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Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap
1 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 1:11.100  
2 88 Colton Herta Harding Steinbrenner Racing 1:11.388 0.2885
3 10 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing  1:11.468 0.3683
4 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM 1:11.549 0.4499
5 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 1:11.567 0.4675
6 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske 1:11.632 0.5319
7 12 Will Power Team Penske 1:11.680 0.5804
8 5 James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:11.708 0.6083
9 19 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing 1:11.732 0.6320
10 21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing 1:11.739 0.6398
11 59 Max Chilton Carlin 1:11.754 0.6547
12 18 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan 1:11.798 0.6986
13 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian 1:11.852 0.7521
14 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:11.864 0.7639
15 7 Marcus Ericsson Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:11.882 0.7820
16 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske 1:12.037 0.9377
17 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 1:12.037 0.9379
18 26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport 1:12.058 0.9581
19 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:12.329 1.2294
20 23 Charlie Kimball Carlin 1:12.364 1.2648
21 14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises 1:12.529 1.4290
22 28 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport 1:12.545 1.4458
23 4 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises 1:12.631 1.5315
24 25 Conor Daly Andretti Autosport 1:12.833 1.7338
25 20 Ed Jones Ed Carpenter Racing 1:12.860 1.7605
26 27 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 1:13.052 1.9522
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About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Laguna Seca
Author David Malsher-Lopez