Double champion Scott Dixon posted the quickest time during practice for the latest round of the IndyCar Series season at Mid-Ohio.
The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, currently second in the standings behind Ryan Briscoe, posted a quickest time of 1min 08.2298secs to lead the way in the #9 car, admitting that a test at the circuit last month had played its part in helping him to top the times.
“I think more of it is a credit to that we tested here,” he said. “We waited for the track to grip up a little bit. At the test, we had the same issue. From the start of the test to the end was almost four seconds difference. We had a pretty good balance. It seemed quite good. The track is pretty inconsistent in some areas but, it's a good way to start. We just found a few things that make the car a little bit better but it's in the early days here. Anything can change tomorrow.”
Dixon was followed on the times by Justin Wilson, who will chase a second road course win of the season after carrying the Dale Coyne Racing squad to its maiden success earlier in the season at Watkins Glen. The Briton ended the hour long session four tenths of a second shy of Dixon's benchmark.
"The track was really slippery to start with and we had to make a lot of changes early on to get the car to work on this low-grip surface,” he said. “It posed quite a challenge. I'm really pleased; Dale Coyne Racing got right on top of it. They were able to turn the car around and be really quick. I know the pace is going to pick up more, so we're just trying to make the most of it. Hopefully we'll have another good weekend and I'm going to be pushing to get our second win.”
Dario Franchitti was third quickest in the second of the Ganassi cars, with AGR's Tony Kanaan in fourth and Graham Rahal fifth for Newman Haas Lanigan Racing. Paul Tracy, back in the KVRT line-up as a late substitute for Mario Moraes rounded out the top six.
"I am really happy with the way the day went for the Azul/Votorantim/KV Racing Technology team,” he said. “I haven't driven here since 2003, but the track came back to me right away and the team did a great job. I just hope Mario and his family are doing well. The entire team is here to do the best we can, and hopefully get a great result this weekend for him and his family."
Ryan Briscoe, Marco Andretti, Raphael Matos and EJ Viso rounded out the top ten.
Oriol Servia, returning the series with NHLR was a solid eleventh – admitting that the 'car is faster than me' as he gets back into the groove – while the man he replaced, Robert Doornbos, was 15th having returned to the HVM Racing team during the week.