Verizon IndyCar Series championship contender Scott Dixon in the No.9 NTT DATA Honda says that his crew and Chip Ganassi Racing won’t lay down following a rough opening day ahead of Sunday’s 2017 season finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway.
The Iceman set the sixth fastest time in both the opening session and in the second session setting a fastest time of the day of a 01:16.586s and speaking following the day of running, Dixon who is aiming for his fifth championship commented by saying:
I think toward the end of the day we had a pretty rough run on the red tires and were only about two or two and a half tenths off the pace. We’re right there though and we’ll have to see how things shake out for qualifying. I think we need to bring a little more speed and see what happens. Qualifying tomorrow is one thing, and I think last time we won this we qualified ninth, so anything is possible really. There is a lot that can happen especially with strategy in the race. I know this NTT DATA car and this Ganassi crew are not going to lay down and we’re going to try and get our fifth championship come Sunday.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda finished the opening session in ninth place while this afternoon the Brazilian finished in 11th place with a fastest time of 01:16.829s and speaking following the on track action, Kanaan commented by saying:
After yesterday’s test and this morning’s practice we saw where we were in regards to the Penske cars and we decided we needed to make some bigger changes with the setup from the first to second practice. This track is just difficult to get a handle on because the track changes so much throughout the day that what you learn in the morning might not translate to the afternoon. We feel like we’re in a good place with the information we have so far. Now we just need to tweak some things in the morning practice and be ready to run in qualifying tomorrow afternoon.
In the opening session this morning, Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Honda ended up in 17th place however in the afternoon, Kimball felt that he and his crew made progress which saw them end the day in 13th place with a fastest time of 01:17.010s and speaking following the track action he commented by saying:
I feel like we made some progress this afternoon and were a little more competitive than we had been. We’re still not where we want to be at all. I think as a team we’re looking for some grip, but overall it was nice to make some progress this afternoon. The conditions in the second practice were more relevant for qualifying and the race Sunday afternoon. We’ll go back and look at the data from today, especially from the 9 car – I believe he was a few tenths up the road. We’ll look at all of the data from all of the cars and see what we can learn. I think we have a good concept and a direction for tomorrow morning.
Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Honda ended the opening session in 18th place while in this afternoon’s session the Englishman finished the day in 14th place with a time of 01:17.054s and speaking following the action he commented by saying:
We made a nice step forward in the right direction today, but still haven’t gotten into the top 10. I think with where we started yesterday, we’ve been able to close the gap and get pointed in the right direction. I think we’re dissecting the gaps into small bits and seeing where we can make up time and gain more ground. It’s a process. We made a good step forward in final practice today but then we went the wrong direction with the downforce and hurt the balance of the Gallagher car. As a whole we need to up our game overall, so we’ll see what can be done to close that gap tomorrow here at Sonoma.