CGR Off And Running… And Testing

Chip Ganassi Racing kicked off spring training and the 2023 INDYCAR season in Thermal, California, today with the running of two practice sessions at The Thermal Club. The No. 8, 9, 10 and 11 Hondas turned their first laps of the year on the 3.067-mile track, just 31 days out from the season opener on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

In the first practice session, Marcus Armstrong clocked a team-fastest lap time of 1:40.532, which was also the best mark among all rookies. Armstrong was the fastest rookie driver across both practice sessions.

Alex Palou piloted the No. 10 The American Legion Honda to P3 standing in the second practice session, setting a best lap time of 1:39.3970. Scott Dixon, Marcus Armstrong and Marcus Ericsson also joined him among the top-12 fastest times in the session.

CGR will return for two more practice sessions tomorrow to round out spring training.

Marcus Armstrong
“Today went quite well, I think. We did a lot of laps and accomplished a lot in terms of getting to know the differences between a few options on the car. I felt really confident in the No. 11 Honda with the way the car moves; I can really feel it well. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow because now I have some experience on what to expect.”

Scott Dixon
“It was a decent day and I felt like everything ran smoothly. We had some pretty long downtimes, but got through a couple sets of tires. The car felt very comfortable. I think all four of us had pretty good speed when we needed to. Pretty happy with how the process went. We got through a lot of big ticket items on car set-up to help us prepare for the season.”

Marcus Ericsson
“First of all, it was great to be back in the car. It’d been a while, and it was great to be driving an INDYCAR again. We didn’t do that many laps in the morning, but got a few more laps in the afternoon. The track was pretty good and it is fun to be out here. There were certainly some challenging aspects. For us, we went through our program and got through everything we needed to do for today. We’ll be able to analyze tonight and work through more things tomorrow. But it was a very positive day today.”

Alex Palou
“The track was really fun. It’s the first time for everyone in the paddock and you just don’t know how it will be, but it’s an amazing course with lots of high and low speed corners. It was a good day and we tested a lot of things. Of course, you always want more but we got quite a lot of laps and we were fast. We’re happy so far. We need to find a bit more speed, but so does everybody. We started strong and found a few things that we were trying to find in the winter.”


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