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Dixon, Ganassi set top pace at Sebring

There was no question who was setting the pace for the second group of IndyCar drivers testing at Sebring International Raceway, with Scott Dixon way in front of the rest.
Scott Dixon became the first driver in either test group to dip under the 52s mark at Sebring International Raceway this week, with the Ganassi-Honda driver setting a best time of 51.7932s (116.077mph) in the morning that was eight tenths clear of AJ Foyt Racing's Mike Conway (also running a Honda engine) in second place.

"Our car right out of the box was pretty decent," said Dixon. "I looked down at my dash and though there was an error, honestly, because it came pretty easy.

That makes Dixon the fastest man of the week, with the best time of the first group of ten cars that tested on Monday and Tuesday being Helio Castroneves with a lap of 52.1413s on the second day.

However, the times on the 1.67-mile, 11-turn short course are not directly comparable, and Dixon subsequently tweeted to Ryan Hunter-Reay (the fastest driver in Monday's session) that "[I] think you guys laid down some good rubber," which had improved grip for the cars running later in the week.

"We're not really trying to go fast at Sebring, but are trying to cover all the bases before we get to St. Pete," he insisted.

Dixon repeated his sub-52s feat again in the afternoon, although the rest of the field had by now closed up on him - led by Dixon's own Ganassi team mate Dario Franchitti, who lost time in the morning session while his car was fitted out with Dallara's modification package to allow the Scot to stick with right-foot braking. A further unspecified issue meant that he only got five laps in during the morning, but he was able to complete 32 laps in the afternoon.

"The first session was a wash out really," admitted Franchitti. "I think I did some out laps and the most I did was two together. It was nice to get this afternoon and see where we were - it's not bad.

"There are so many things we're trying to change, it's not about shooting the car for the track, it's about learning and getting data," he continued. "The difference being, with the old car we pretty much knew what we were going to do."

Rubens Barrichello proved in good form in his first IndyCar open test, running sixth fastest in the morning but then popping up to third fastest for the day during the afternoon session with a time of 52.6745s (114.135mph) just 0.0644s off Dario's fastest effort of the day.




Related Pictures

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Scott Dixon [Picture Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti check out the timing screens. [Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon [Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Josef Newgarden in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti and Sage Karam at IMS (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon leaves for his qualifying run for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins pole for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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