Will Power proved that there were no lingering after-effects from his race-ending crash at the Iowa Speedway by taking part in a test session with his Team Penske team mates at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Before he could participate, Power needed to be re-evaluated by IndyCar medical teams after he had been diagnosed with a mild concussion following his turn 2 crash 90 laps into the Saturday night's Iowa Corn Indy 250.
"It was a hard hit at Iowa, but I didn't actually get knocked out or anything," Power stressed. "I just had a headache for the first night and some neck soreness. I needed to get checked out by the IndyCar officials and it was more precautionary than anything, but that's good, because you can never be too careful."
Drivers carry out an "ImPACT test" (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) at the start of the race season which sets a baseline for memory, reaction time, attention span and other cognitive abilities. This is repeated in the event of a serious accident so that the doctors can compare it against the earlier test to ensure no signs of significant deviation that could indicate an ongoing head trauma.
"You have to go back and do that test again if you have an incident like what we had in Iowa," said Power. "I took the test on Tuesday and the doctors cleared me to drive."
The test is not fool-proof, however. Simona de Silvestro underwent an ImPACT test before being cleared to race at the Milwaukee 225 after her accident in qualifying, but still suffered post-concussion symptoms in the week following the race and was consequently re-evaluated and ruled out of the Iowa race as a result. She will need to be tested again before being allowed to take part in the next IndyCar event on the streets of Toronto next weekend.
Similarly, Sergio Perez passed F1's equivalent tests for concussion after his major accident at Monaco, but was still forced to withdraw from the Canadian Grand Prix after reporting feeling ill following runs in the Sauber F1 car during free practice.
Power had no such ill-effects in the days following Iowa and also completed the Penske team testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course without any problems. Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe joined him on the 2.258-mile road course, and Dale Coyne Racing's James Jakes also made use of the testing opportunity.
"I'm glad we got the chance to test here at Mid-Ohio to get ready for the road courses coming up," he said. "Now I'm looking forward to going back to Toronto next week and trying to defend our win there."