Scott Dixon put his No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet top of the charts Friday noon with a time of 1:08.6458/103.208 mph. The weather was mid-seventies with the harbor breezes starting to pickup the pace.
The qualifying lap record of 1:06.902/108.898mph around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course was set by Justin Wilson in 2008.
Second and third were Dixon’s teammate, Tony Kanaan/N.10, and Ryan Hunter-Reay/No.28 DHL Honda – both who had led earlier on. Fourth through seventh drivers all were in the 1:08’s. They were Simon Pagenaud/No.22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet; 2014 IndyCar Champion, Will Power/No.1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet; Sebastien Bourdais/No.11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet; and Juan Paul Montoya/No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
The top IndyCar Rookie, of four, was Stefano Coletti/No.4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, in fourteenth place. Sebastian Saavedra/No.8 AFS Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was seventeenth overall in his first IndyCar on-track session this year. Rocky Moran, Jr./No.18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda was twenty-second. Moran is the first American driver for Dale Coyne Racing since 2003, when the driver was Geoff Boss.
Afterwards, the IndyCar scrutineers had to forgot sitting and looking pretty, so several cars could go through the technical equipment checks.
In the first practice for the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Series, all twelve cars were on course. Rookie Spencer Pigot/No.12 was leading for awhile; but when the Red Flag came out to retrieve Rookie Ethan Ringel/No.71 who drove into a tire barrier, Rookie Kyle Kaiser/No.18 was ahead. Ringel walked to the ambulance while the Cal Club SCCA course marshals rearranged the tire barriers. At the checkered flag, Rookie Max Chilton/No.14 was fastest, at 1:14.4110. He, however, didn’t quite make it all the way back to Pit Lane at the Checkered Flag. In case you noticed a pattern there, yes – eight of the twelve drivers are Rookies.
During the Indy Lights practice, fans were swarming the IndyCar paddock queued up for driver autograph sessions.