IndyCar »

Penske trio top second day of Sebring test

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe ended up with times only 0.0646s apart at the end of the second and final day of pre-season testing at Sebring.
Helio Castroneves' lap time of 52.1413s was the best that any of the ten drivers involved in the first block of pre-season testing at Sebring International Raceway could achieve during their two days on track - but it was under seven hundredths of a second faster than the times of both of his Penske team mates, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, on the 1.67-mile, 11-turn circuit.

"Certainly it is great to be on top of the charts, but it doesn't pay anything," pointed out Castroneves at the end of the day. "The first race of the season is what we are looking for. But, it feels great to have a good practice."

Power's performance was particularly impressive. After losing almost all of the morning session while the team cleared up the #12 after his engine bay fire caused by a fuel leak on Monday, he suffered a second minor fire later on Tuesday that forced him to abort what looked to be his fastest run of the day in order to pull into the pits, where his crew were ready to administer highly sophisticated fire suppressants - in the form of buckets of water.

"It wasn't a big issue," Power said about Monday's incident. "Fortunately, we got it out soon enough that we didn't do too much damage that would have lost us the test day today."

As for the test overall, Power was struck by how close the cars were. "It is clear that it is pretty even so far," he said. "Everyone is going to have what they've got. There is no sandbagging or anything. We shall see."

Certainly the Chevrolet-powered runners seemed happy with how things were shaping up. "The more miles we get on these Chevys, the better. I feel like we're ready to go racing in St. Pete," said Briscoe. "The car is feeling strong. Working with the engine guys on the driveability side as well - I think we made a lot of gains there."

Simon Pagenaud and Justin Wilson were the fastest Honda runners at the session, with Pagenaud less than a third of a second off Castroneves best time and feeling positive about the first race of the season.

"It's an exciting moment for IndyCar with three different engines. You can tell the Chevys and Hondas are really close," said the Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports driver. "It will come down to qualifying [at St. Petersburg] to see who's strongest."

"Not a bad day, it was a reasonable test overall," said a more cautious Wilson, back at Dale Coyne Racing after two years away from the team. "The Honda engine has been really strong and very consistent," he added. "There are a lot of components to this car that are new to us and we are still working hard to see how everything responds to changes, but I think we are getting better every time out."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simon Pagenaud in the #77 Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Andretti Autosport team mates James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti confer during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Will Power in the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates pole position in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Sebastien Bourdais during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on track (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay around the fountain turn during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.