Chip Ganassi Racing’s four Verizon IndyCar Series drivers completed a combined 188 laps on the opening day of the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with reigning series champion Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target entry ending the day with the second fastest combined time of 1.00.9573s.

The New Zealander had topped the time sheets for a time during the second session but was just pipped by Team Penske’s Will Power towards the end of the session. Speaking following the opening day, Dixon commented by saying:

Pretty happy with today. St. Pete is a bit of a thorn in Team Target’s side. Second practice we made some wholesale changes and pretty good gains. Put the one set of new tires on, halfway through the run and actually got some traffic. I think the car has some good potential, which you can see. Hopefully we can carry that through to tomorrow.

Dixon’s Ganassi team mate Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT Data Chevrolet ended his day with the 15th fastest combined time ending up just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Mikhail Aleshin.

Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet was 18th fastest with a fastest time of 1.01.7128s completing 57 laps during the day more than any other driver.

Charlie Kimball in the No.83 NovaNordisk ended his day in 19th place just behind Chilton.

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