Two-time Honda Indy Toronto winner Scott Dixon was back in familiar territory after finishing the opening Verizon IndyCar Series practice on top of the charts.
The current series points leader was fastest with a quick time of 1:00.7474. Dixon’s quickest time was just under two tenths of a second faster than second-place Graham Rahal.
One of Dixon’s closest championship rivals, Alexander Rossi, sitting third in points, wound up third in practice after completing 17 laps in the 45-minute session. Takuma Sato and Marco Andretti rounded out the top-five in the opening session.
Sebastien Bourdais, the 2014 race winner in Toronto, finished up his session in sixth while Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Matheus Leist and Ed Jones completed the top-10 drivers. For Leist, it’s an important boost of confidence after having a disastrous weekend at Iowa Speedway.
The three drivers who call the race in Toronto their home event were 11th, 18th and 19th in practice. Robert Wickens led the way with James Hinchcliffe and Montreal’s Zachary Claman de Melo following.
Dixon’s biggest competitor for the championship, Josef Newgarden, was 13th in practice. Newgarden won this race last year from the seventh starting position.
Another one of the big stories from the Honda Indy weekend is the Harding Racing driver swap.
Conor Daly is in the No. 88 in place of Gabby Chaves while the team evaluates their plans for a two-car team next season. Chaves plans to be at the track all weekend and was sitting on the team’s pit box for the opening practice. Daly placed 20th of the 23 drivers in practice after completing 14 laps on track.