Chip Ganassi Racing’s six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda, was the fastest on the opening day of the season at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg presented by RP Funding. 01:01.6145s ending the session just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta who set a fastest time of 01:01.6475s.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou in the No.10 American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was third fastest just ahead of Kyle Kirkwood who set a fastest time of 01:01.6851s while Simon Pagenaud had a good session for Meyer Shank Racing as the Frenchman was fifth overall making it five Honda powered cars in the top five.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay ended the day in sixth place just ahead of David Malukas and defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Will Power in the No.12 Verizon %G Team Penske Chevrolet who set a fastest time of 01:01.8915s while NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Marcus Armstrong put on a great showing in the No.11 Ridgeline Lubricants Chip Ganassi Racing Honda as the New Zealander was ninth with a time of 01:01.9444s.The Kiwi was just ahead of his fellow New Zealander Scott Mclaughlin in the No.3 DEX IMAGING Team Penske Chevrolet. The defending St Pete winner set a time of 01:01.9882s.
Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward in the No.5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet was 11th in what was a real stop/start session due to a number of red flags which was put down to the new brake disc material that is being used by the teams this year.
Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott had a great session as he ended the day in P12 with a time of 01:02.0360s just ahead of Marcus Ericsson in the No.8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda while Romain Grosjean was P14 in the No.28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda while Felix Rosenqvist was 15th just ahead of Devlin DeFranscesco while Jack Harvey was P17 just ahead of Helio Castroneves and rookie Agustin Canapino who set a 01:02.3629.
Santino Ferrucci in the No.14 Sexton Properties AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet rounded out the top 20 with a time of 01:02.4032s just ahead of Arrow McLaren Chevrolet’s Alexander Rossi in the No.7 Chevrolet who set a time of 01:02.4616s.
Josef Newgarden was 23nd just ahead of Conor Daly and Dale Coyne Racing’s Sting Ray Robb who ended the session with a time of 01:02.8157s just ahead of Christian Lundgaard and Graham Rahal while Benjamin Pedersen rounded out the order in P27 in the No.55 Sexton Properties AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet who set a time of 01:03.5134s.