LONG BEACH, Calif – The Chip Ganassi Racing duo are just toying with us right? After a very strong day on the streets of Long Beach on Friday, they basically said that they left some speed on the table.
Scott Dixon was in the top two in both NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions around the 1.968-mile street circuit on Friday while his rookie teammate of Felix Rosenqvist was seventh and third respectively himself.
Despite that, they both said really the same thing – “average.”
“I think it was only an average run,” said the defending series champion in Dixon. “I think I missed the timing line when I went to get the fast lap out of it. We ran long and the grip felt high, but I made a pretty big mistake in the first two laps. But the PNC Bank car was strong and it was good this morning. We didn’t really get what we wanted out of it and I think we had the potential this morning. I think the Hondas look strong. As you can tell every weekend, it’s super tight and the mix is quite heavy, so we will have to see what we can do to try to create a bit of a gap there.”
That’s scary for the other drivers in the field. When a former Long Beach winner (2015) and one of the all-time greats is saying that despite setting the days fastest overall lap, what happens when they find more?
Same could be said for Rosenqvist. He qualified on Row 2 in the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. He led 31 laps and finished fourth. His car was P3 overall on Friday and he’s not 100-percent happy either.
“It was a pretty good day in the beginning and it felt like I had some work to do on the driving in the first practice,” said the rookie driver. “This is kind of a technical circuit, for sure. Then in the second practice on blacks (Firestone primary tires), it felt not the best, but then on reds (Firestone alternate it seemed like we had a lot of pace. Scott (Dixon) in P1 and me in P3 and I think I had a kind of dodgy run and still, I was able to go to P3, and we didn’t really wait until the end when the track was the best. So I think that is promising for tomorrow. We still have something I want to get better in the car but overall, a really good first day in the NTT DATA car.”