Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Rossi fastest in first IndyCar practice at Long Beach

Photo: IndyCar
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Scott Dixon was fastest in the first of two practice sessions Friday in preparation for Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dixon, of Chip Ganassi Racing, covered the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course along the Long Beach oceanfront in a time of 1:08.4112.

Second quickest was Ryan Hunter-Reay at 1:08.4285, followed by Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi (1:08.6077), Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud (1:08.7790) and defending race winner from last year at Long Beach, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe (1:08.9133).

Sixth through 10th quickest in the 24 cars in the field were former Long Beach winner Takuma Sato (1:08.9295) of Rahal Letterman and Lanigan Racing, Team Penske’s Will Power (1:08.9481), Team Penske’s and Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden (1:08.9600), A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan (1:08.9675) and St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (1:09.1270) of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser/Sullivan.

While the conditions were excellent, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s, there still were several incidents during the 45-minute practice session:

* About 15 minutes into practice, the red flag came out when Gabby Chaves stopped on the racetrack.

* Alexander Rossi went into the run-off area when he missed a turn with about seven minutes left in the session, but backed up and got going again.

* Kyle Kaiser coming into Turn 1 and locked up on the brakes and ended up in the run-off area in the closing minutes of practice.

* Just a minute or so later, Charlie Kimball spun into a run-off area in Turn 8 and had to be towed back to the pits.

Today’s second practice session will begin at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT and run for one hour.

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