Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda said the the car was fast right out of the box as the Iceman was the initial pace setter on Friday morning at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Dixon set a fastest time in the morning of 01:08.4112s to the session just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay.
In the afternoon session, the New Zealander set the fifth fastest time with a 01:09.1049s and speaking following his day in the car Dixon commented by saying:
We sat around a lot in the first session and then went out, and things started to move really fast. The PNC Bank car was fast right out of the box. We went out and were quick in our first run, then improved upon that in the second run. It’s a big weekend for Honda here, so we’ll try to get the most out of it for them and for the team. The cars are so fun to drive though. The track is really awesome without the added downforce too. The braking zones are a bit bigger and the power down is impressive especially out of the hairpin corner. I think come around Lap 20, drivers are going to be screaming for new tires around here. It’s great to be back here overall, though. Great cars, great atmosphere and being out there pounding around the Long Beach city streets.
Ed Jones in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda ended the opening session in 17th place with a time of 01:09.6060s while in the afternoon he set the 19th fastest time with a 01:10.0616s and speaking following his time in the car Jones commented by saying:
Obviously not the start to the weekend we wanted with the NTT DATA car. We went one direction this morning and then took another direction toward what Scott (Dixon) and the No. 9 team were doing. We have some work to do tonight, but I’m confident we can make the right changes and be up there closer to the front tomorrow.
Dixon went on to describe his afternoon saying:
This afternoon was definitely a bit of a different story; really struggled with front grip. “It seemed like the temperature really affected our car.
“There were a couple others that went quite fast in that session on the red (alternate) tires, and I actually had to do almost a long run on my reds to get them to work. I think I did my quickest time on Lap 7 or 8 (of the stint). It was kind of an interesting session for us, but I think the car is kind of there. It’s just going to take a little bit to get it right.”