Ganassi's Scott Dixon set the fastest time of the day on Friday at Sonoma Raceway, after completing a lap of the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course in 1:18.3145s (109.635mph) in the afternoon session, although he admitted that it had been a hard day at the office for him.

"The track has been very tough this year - a lot of that may be the tyres," said Dixon after the session ended. "Maybe the tyres just don't match here that well. It's definitely making it interesting. In the first session you kind of get two or three laps to get it together, and I didn't get it together whatsoever.

"We seemed to piece our car a little bit together in our second set of tyres in that session, our first set of new tyres in that session," he added. "It's really about getting your laps together and making sure you get the most out of the first sort of three laps, and I think as the race goes on it's going to make a really interesting race on these roads."

And Dixon said he thought his team mate Dario Franchitti could prove to be the one to watch this weekend: "Dario didn't even run on a second set of tyres in this session and still got up in the top seven, so he's going to be one to watch, for sure."

Dixon finished the day's second 45-minute session 0.3549s faster than his Penske rival Helio Castroneves who turned out to be the most consistent driver across the two practice session after once again finishing second on the timing screens ahead of his team mate Will Power.

"The car seems in pretty good shape," smiled Castroneves. "Certainly we just continued developing the set-up of the Hitachi car during the day, and it sounds like we were going in the right direction. But again, the track changed so much that you never know"

Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay was the fourth fastest driver in the afternoon session, but he was unable to improve on his morning timesheet-topping time after completing only seven laps.

"It's a good start, but we definitely have to improve the car," said Hunter-Reay. "We found some things that didn't work today and found some things that we'll have to apply tomorrow before qualifying.

"I think qualifying is going to be very important here this weekend, so hopefully we'll get the #1 DHL Chevy starting up front on the front row and go from there," he added. "It'll be difficult getting the lap time out of the cars; it's a small margin to get it right."

There were two red flag stoppages during the session, with Tony Kanaan spinning in turn 6 just over ten minutes in, and Ryan Briscoe doing likewise some 20 minutes later. Both cars were able to be restarted and returned to pit lane under their own power after their incidents.

Practice 2 times

1. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 109.635mph 1:18.3145s (13 laps)
2. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 109.140mph 1:18.6694s + 0.3549s (10 laps)
3. #12 Will Power (C) 109.035mph 1:18.7454s + 0.4309s (15 laps)
4. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 108.992mph 1:18.7766s + 0.4621s (7 laps)
5. #19 Justin Wilson (H) 108.862mph 1:18.8704s + 0.5559s (16 laps)
6. #15 Graham Rahal (H) 108.705mph 1:18.9844s + 0.6699s (19 laps)
7. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 108.609mph 1:19.0542s + 0.7397s (10 laps)
8. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 108.585mph 1:19.0719s + 0.7574s (11 laps)
9. #5 EJ Viso (C) 108.499mph 1:19.1347s + 0.8202s (11 laps)
10. #4 Ryan Briscoe (C) 108.477mph 1:19.1502s + 0.8357s (12 laps)
11. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 108.227mph 1:19.3336s + 1.0191s (15 laps)
12. #55 Tristan Vautier (H) 108.222mph 1:19.3366s + 1.0221s (15 laps)
13. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 108.142mph 1:19.3958s + 1.0813s (14 laps)
14. #14 Takuma Sato (H) 108.138mph 1:19.3989s + 1.0844s (15 laps)
15. #98 JR Hildebrand (H) 108.110mph 1:19.4191s + 1.1046s (14 laps)
16. #6 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 108.095mph 1:19.4301s + 1.1156s (14 laps)
17. #16 James Jakes (H) 108.044mph 1:19.4673s + 1.1528s (15 laps)
18. #7 Sebastien Bourdais (C) 108.035mph 1:19.4744s + 1.1599s (17 laps)
19. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 108.007mph 1:19.4947s + 1.1802s (13 laps)
20. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 107.872mph 1:19.5942s + 1.2797s (5 laps)
21. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 107.758mph 1:19.6785s + 1.3640s (17 laps)
22. #78 Simona De Silvestro (C) 107.625mph 1:19.7767s + 1.4622s (14 laps)
23. #18 James Davison (H) 107.531mph 1:19.8469s + 1.5324s (15 laps)
24. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 107.511mph 1:19.8615s + 1.5470s (16 laps)
25. #97 Lucas Luhr (H) 106.465mph 1:20.6459s + 2.3314s (15 laps)

Total laps: 338

Combined Friday practice times

1. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 109.635mph 1:18.3145s Practice 2 (20 laps)
2. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 109.140mph 1:18.6694s Practice 2 (17 laps)
3. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 109.124mph 1:18.6814s Practice 1 (13 laps)
4. #12 Will Power (C) 109.035mph 1:18.7454s Practice 2 (23 laps)
5. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 108.942mph 1:18.8124s Practice 1 (17 laps)
6. #19 Justin Wilson (H) 108.862mph 1:18.8704s Practice 2 (28 laps)
7. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 108.719mph 1:18.9740s Practice 1 (10 laps)
8. #15 Graham Rahal (H) 108.705mph 1:18.9844s Practice 2 (33 laps)
9. #4 Ryan Briscoe (C) 108.659mph 1:19.0182s Practice 1 (24 laps)
10. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 108.585mph 1:19.0719s Practice 2 (22 laps)
11. #7 Sebastien Bourdais (C) 108.569mph 1:19.0834s Practice 1 (25 laps)
12. #5 EJ Viso (C) 108.549mph 1:19.0976s Practice 1 (18 laps)
13. #98 JR Hildebrand (H) 108.468mph 1:19.1567s Practice 1 (29 laps)
14. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 108.413mph 1:19.1968s Practice 1 (25 laps)
15. #55 Tristan Vautier (H) 108.222mph 1:19.3366s Practice 2 (27 laps)
16. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 108.218mph 1:19.3398s Practice 1 (24 laps)
17. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 108.142mph 1:19.3958s Practice 2 (24 laps)
18. #14 Takuma Sato (H) 108.138mph 1:19.3989s Practice 2 (27 laps)
19. #6 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 108.095mph 1:19.4301s Practice 2 (31 laps)
20. #16 James Jakes (H) 108.044mph 1:19.4673s Practice 2 (26 laps)
21. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 108.007mph 1:19.4947s Practice 2 (23 laps)
22. #78 Simona De Silvestro (C) 107.862mph 1:19.6014s Practice 1 (26 laps)
23. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 107.758mph 1:19.6785s Practice 2 (30 laps)
24. #18 James Davison (H) 107.645mph 1:19.7624s Practice 1 (29 laps)
25. #97 Lucas Luhr (H) 106.465mph 1:20.6459s Practice 2 (26 laps)

Total Laps for Combined Sessions: 597


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