IndyCar: Dixon leads day of Grand Prix of Indy road course testing (UPDATED, VIDEO)

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AFTERNOON: Times dipped into the 1:09s into the afternoon, a full two seconds faster than this morning, as the IMS road course rubbered in and gained time for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ test session ahead of the May 10 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Scott Dixon posted the day’s fastest lap at 1:09.5969 with teammate Ryan Briscoe and Simon Pagenaud also into the 1:09s, and completing the top three.

“I’ve obviously got a big smile on my face,” said Dixon, not just because of his time in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, but more due to the track layout.

“The track was so much fun today. The thing they captured, it’s a demanding circuit. The cars all seem very close which is going to create some fantastic racing. These big straights, I think Brazil is probably the only other time we’ve had a straight similar length like this.”

Combined times are linked here. All bar Mikhail Aleshin posted times in the second session, and all made substantial improvements from the morning. Aleshin and Graham Rahal reported “engine issues” during the day.

MORNING: The first test session of the day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in the books for testing on the new IMS road course, ahead of the May 10 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

It may be a new circuit but it was a familiar name leading the morning session – Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power. His former teammate and now NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ryan Briscoe was second.

Briscoe and Graham Rahal had the opportunity to test on the track before the race was formally announced last fall.

More to the point, here’s the rest of the morning testing times.

Video highlights from Sunday’s Dakar Rally Stage 8: Bikes, Cars, Quads, Trucks

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Sunday’s Stage 8 of the Dakar Rally brought the race into the final country it will compete in, Argentina.

Monday’s Stage 9 was cancelled after bad weather made course conditions impassible for racing. Stage 10 picks up Tuesday morning. The overall Rally ends Saturday.

Here’s some of Sunday’s key video highlights:

BIKES

Antoine Meo wins Stage 8.

QUADS 

Simon Vitse wins Stage 8.

CARS

Stephane Peterhansel wins Stage 8.

TRUCKS

Dmitry Sotnikov wins Stage 8.