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Hinchcliffe tops Barber Indy Lights test

Indy Lights veteran James Hinchcliffe set the benchmark at the series lone pre-season test at Barber Motorsports Park, ahead of other returnees.
Four drivers who competed for the full season in Firestone Indy Lights last year have been projected to contend for the 2010 championship and, at the end of the series' only open pre-season test, they stood 1-4 on the timesheets.

James Hinchcliffe, now driving for Team Moore Racing, posted the quickest lap at 1min 14.9714secs to pace the 13 drivers participating in the test at Barber Motorsports Park a month before the opener on the streets of St Petersburg.

"It was a great day for us on the #2 car," the Canadian said, "I'm really happy, especially coming into a new team with new people. We are all working well together right off the bat and that translated into the speed we showed on the track. Everyone at Team Moore Racing deserves a huge pat on the back because there have been some long hours getting everything ready in time for this test. I'm happy that the hard work paid off."

Martin Plowman took the #27 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport car to second spot at 1min 15.1319secs, while team-mate Charlie Kimball was just one place further back on 1min 15.1715secs. Sebastian Saavedra, who finished third in the 2009 series standings with AFS/AGR, was fourth with a best lap of 1min 15.3817secs in the #29 Bryan Herta Autosport car. Intriguingly, all four drivers are with new teams this season.

"I was pretty happy with today," Plowman said, "I'm never going to be truly happy unless I am P1 or on pole, but it was a solid day. We got a lot done with our testing programme. We started off the day strong with a good base car and fine-tuned it the rest of the day. I don't think we showed a true potential today, but we did some long runs in the afternoon that leaves me very optimistic for when we come back."

The top seven were separated by only 0.6326secs, while Champ Car veteran racer Jan Heylen made his debut in the #17 Team E entry and went fifth quickest on 1min 15.5407secs to sit ahead of Stefan Wilson, who competed in six races in 2009, and swaps to the #28 Bryan Herta Autosport entry for 2010.

Another newcomer to the series, Frenchman Jean-Karl Vernay, was seventh fastest in the #7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, as 14 drivers participated in the test. Spanish rookie Adrian Campos had the only major incident during the 1074 laps recorded, but was emerged uninjured.

Kimball's #26 Levemir® FlexPen® car sported a new paint scheme featuring sponsorship from Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care. The 25-year old is the only licensed racer with Type 1 diabetes in the history of the Indy Racing League.

"This is a big year for me and expectations are high," Kimball said, "I am fortunate to not only be part of one of the top teams in all of racing at AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport, but to have the support of Novo Nordisk, one of the world's leading healthcare companies that is committed to helping me live my dream."



Related Pictures

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James Hinchcliffe - Sam Schmidt Motorsports   [pic credit:IRL/Garrett]
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits on pitlane prior to practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball go side-by-side for the start of the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay with an early pit stop during the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson exits Turn 2 during practice for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson waits on pit lane prior to qualifications for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates second place (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves on pit road (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves on pit lane prior to qualifications for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves heads down the Long Pond Straightaway during practice for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag as he races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with Helio Castroneves and Carlos Munoz on the podium after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the finish line to win at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
The damaged front wing of the race-winning car. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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