Eight out of ten. That’s how team Honda finished the first practice session at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this morning. Marco Andretti (No. 27, Andretti Autosport) led the IndyCar field with a best lap time of 1:03.7559, ahead of Tony Kanaan (No. 10, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams) and Scott Dixon (No. 9, CGRT). The latter two were in their Honda-powered Indy cars for the first time today, excluding off-season testing.
The Ganassi Racing Team announced their switch from Chevy to Honda in the off-season, and it’s certainly looking to be a beneficial decision. Not that the team was slacking by any means in the past season, but this change might be what they need to harness the consistency for results that’s recently been missing. Their teammates Charlie Kimball (No. 83, CGRT) and Max Chilton (No.8, CGRT) helped to round out the Top 10, finishing P8 and P10 respectively.
Earlier this year, I wrote a piece discussing Marco’s newfound clarity. Between his new mindset and the genius that is Bryan Herta calling race strategy… this could very well be the turning point in his career. If he can maintain this focus, not over think, and just be one with the car – racing it to the limits and allowing himself to just be in the moment and nowhere else… practices like this morning could translate to some serious results in qualifying and ultimately, on race days. Those “game time” successes are the ones that count and they are the ones that Marco is more than ready to start accumulating.
Photo credit: Shawn Gritzmacher / IndyCar
Verizon IndyCar Series track times for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:
Friday, March 10th:
Practice #1 – 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
Practice #2 – 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 11th:
Practice #3 – 10.50 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. ET
Qualifying: – 2:55 p.m. – 4:10:p.m. ET
Sunday, March 12th:
– TURN YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HR FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! –
Warm Up – 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET (Live on ABC w Green Flag at 12:30 p.m. ET)
All non-race sessions are livestreamed.
All links to livestream and IndyCar radio coverage is available here.