Dixon quickest in Saturday morning Detroit Practice

Scott Dixon led Will Power in second practice to make it an antipodean one-two. Image: Penske Entertainment

In the second practice session of the weekend for the NTT IndyCar Series, New Zealand’s own Scott Dixon set the fastest time on the streets of Detroit.

The six-time IndyCar champion set a fastest lap of 1:3.2317s to average 93.656mph around the nine-turn, 1.645-mile street circuit in the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Second fastest was Australia’s Will Power in the #12 Team Penske Chevrolet.

The final winner at Detroit’s former venue of Belle Isle was 0.2310s slower than Dixon. Third fastest was Kyle Kirkwood in the #27 Andretti Autosport Honda.

New Zealand’s own Scott McLaughlin was fifth fastest, 0.4849s slower than Dixon.

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There were a few red flags during the session for various stalled cars. The first red flag for serious car contact came for the #29 of Devlin DeFrancesco. The Canadian hit the outside wall at Turn 7 and damaged the suspension on both front corners of the car.

IndyCar’s medical staff saw DeFrancesco and released him after an evaluation.

“Definitely annoying, right before qualifying the boys didn’t need that, we didn’t need that,” a dejected DeFrancesco said on the Peacock broadcast.

“Our car’s good, competitive, so happy, at least that’s a positive. Looking forward going into qualifying, this track really anything can happen.

“It really is tricky, just lost the rear through [Turn] 6 to 7 to be honest, man. Frustrating but excited to be going out for qualifying later.”

Contrary to yesterday’s Peacock broadcast, Helio Castroneves did not require a new engine in his #06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda after the engine briefly over-revved.

However, Simon Pagenaud in the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda did require an engine change.

There were several course changes overnight to improve racing. The pit exit line has been shortened three feet and is now angled toward the right side of the course so drivers could line themselves up for a better Turn 1 entry angle.

On the exit of Turn 1, a row of tires from the tire barrier outside of the corner were eliminated, opening up the exit of the corner.

A banner now hangs over the pit lane entry wall separating the pits from the track and new cones indicate the start zone.

IndyCar qualifications are at 13:15 local time/03:15 AEST.

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