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Rain disrupts practice for Long Beach Grand Prix

During Friday's second hour-long session, reigning IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti pulls off the course after one lap while former champion Scott Dixon spins out and has a minor crash.

April 13, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti takes a practice lap in the rain on Friday in Long Beach.
IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti takes a practice lap in the rain on Friday… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Steady rain all but canceled Friday afternoon's one-hour practice session for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Reigning Izod IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti drove one lap around the 1.97-mile course on the city's seaside streets, then pulled his car in for the day.

Scott Dixon, his teammate at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, also attempted a lap but hit a large patch of standing water, spun and crashed lightly into the wall. No other drivers went out on the 11-turn course.

"I just aqua-planed out there," said Dixon, a two-time IndyCar champion. "I hit the puddle and couldn't turn."

The rain did hold off long enough in the morning for the drivers to get in their initial one-hour practice. But parts of the track remained wet from overnight rain and most of the drivers never pushed their cars to top speed.

One more practice is scheduled Saturday morning before the series holds qualifying later in the day to set the field for Sunday's race.

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