Championship leader Scott Dixon put his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda at the top of the time sheets ahead of Will Power and Josef Newgarden, as Indy cars returned en masse to Portland International Raceway.
The scenic road course hosts the penultimate round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend and today’s open test makes the Grand Prix of Portland effectively a four-day event, 11 years after Champ Car raced here in its final season.
After a total of five hours of testing, Dixon’s 58.3593sec lap of the course equated to an average lap speed of 119.981mph while the track is currently judged to be 1.945 miles (it is due to get re-measured tonight).
Remarkably, 21 cars were within one second of the Ganassi driver, with Power a mere 0.0335sec in arrears, and Newgarden a whole tenth of a second off top spot.
Marco Andretti, who was second fastest behind Power in the morning session, finished the day in fourth, a quarter-second from the top spot, and half a tenth ahead of rookie Andretti Autosport teammate Zach Veach who survived an off-course excursion.
Next came Sebastien Bourdais in the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda with Vasser-Sullivan ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti), Ed Jones in the second Ganassi entry, and championship contender Alexander Rossi (Andretti).
Noteworthy performances came from both Jack Harvey in the Michael Shank Racing SPM-Honda in 10th, within half a second of Dixon, and Gabby Chaves in the Harding Racing-Chevrolet in 14th.
Swelling the field to 25 cars this week are Santino Ferrucci in a third Dale Coyne Racing-Honda (who finished 21st), and Juncos Racing, running Alfonso Celis Jr. who finished last after sustaining front-left corner damage with an off at Turn 4.
Carlos Munoz, subbing for the injured Robert Wickens, was 19th in his first test of the 2018 IndyCar on a road course, within 0.2sec of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda teammate James Hinchcliffe.
First practice begins Friday at 10.45 local (Pacific) time.
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