Ryan Briscoe posted the quickest time on the second and final day of IndyCar Series testing at the Homestead Miami Speedway.
With teams forced to battle against a number of tyre issues, which resulted in a number of cut tyres over the course of the test, the Penske man emerged with the quickest time from the second day of running as he turned the only lap above the 212mph marker to finish ahead of reigning champion Scott Dixon.
The tyre issues led to a number of caution periods as track workers cleared up debris and tried to find the source of the problem but none of the 21 drivers went into the wall as a result of tyre complaints. Indeed, there were no incidents on track during the two days.
Despite being one of the drivers affected by tyre problems, Briscoe declared himself happy with the way the test had panned out and said he felt the team was in 'great shape' for the start of the year.
“I'm really happy with the way our only pre-season oval test went this week,” he said. “We were able to work on a lot of different things and I'm satisfied with what we were able to accomplish.
“I think that what we learned here at Homestead will help us on all the 1.5-mile ovals this season, starting with Kansas and moving forward. I think we're in great shape and now we're one step closer to the beginning of the season.”
Behind second-placed Dixon, Marco Andretti was third quickest for Andretti Green, stating he was 'pleased' to have run three a series of set-ups on the #26 car, while fellow AGR man Tony Kanaan was fourth.
Continuing to adapt to his new surroundings, KV Racing's Mario Moraes was fifth, with the Brazilian pleased with his second day of running with the his new team.
“My second day with KV Racing Technology was pretty good,” he reflected. “We finished fifth and like yesterday, we were not worrying about speed but the set-up of the #5 car for the race which I think we may have found. I am pleased with what we have achieved with the two days of testing and look forward to the road course test in March.”
Will Power was sixth in the second Penske car ahead of Dan Wheldon, who joined the test after missing day one due to commitments at a National Guard Foundation banquet in Washington. The top eight was rounded out by the leading rookie driver as Briton Mike Conway posted and impressive time for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
“It's all about learning each time I go out,” he said, “learning about running with traffic, how the tyres come in, just things with set-up like aero changes, mechanical changes. They all feel quire different.
“I've really got a feel as to what the car is doing and how it's reacting to each change. I've been learning how to run in different lines and how to react in traffic. Each day was another positive step and it was a good test overall. I have to thank the Dreyer & Reinbold guys for the hard work and great job they've done in getting me acclimatised to everything. I can't wait to get back on track again.”
Graham Rahal and Hideki Mutoh rounded out the top ten.
The next IRL pre-season test will be three days on the road course at Barber Motorsports Park from 20-22 March.