All things considered, Allmendinger was happy with the first day's work. "I'd love for it to lead to some races, especially Indy," he said afterwards. It is thought that Penske would initially like him to run in the Long Beach race and possibly the Barber Motorsports Park event as preparation for the Indy 500.
"We're not really testing AJ," explained Penske president Tim Cindric. "We're letting AJ test the car and the program to be prepared. If we run a third car, it's going to be with him."
Unofficial test times
1. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Racing 51.947s
2. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi 52.017s
3. #12 Will Power Team Penske 52.153s
4. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi 52.332s
5. #18 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing 52.327s
6. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology 52.381s
7. #3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske 52.410s
8. #15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan 52.413s
9. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi 52.439s
10. #78 Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology 52.442s
11. #67 Josef Newgarden Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 52.498
12. #2 AJ Allmendinger Team Penske 52.618s
13. #22 Oriol Servia Panther Dreyer & Reinbold 52.690s
IndyCar also announced on Tuesday that the DW12 chassis will receive some safety upgrades ahead of the 2013 season.
Additional structural reinforcements are being added to the side of the monocoque at the shoulder height of the drivers, and the sides of the cockpits are being reinforced with a stronger synthetic polymer called Zylon. The changes to the safety cell will not be visible externally.
"In order to further reduce the risk of tilt, we needed to get a more even distribution of crash resistance from top to bottom. This is the purpose of the Side Impact Structure," explained Andrea Toso, head of research and development for Dallara.
The manufacturer has also has introduced new brake disc guards that are more robust and heat resistant than the 2012 model.
"The guard helps keep the rotors, which are made of carbon, from being damaged by the wheel during a typical 6-second pit stop for tires," said Will Phillips, IndyCar's vice president of technology. "This will allow our teams to run through their remaining inventory from 2012 at road and street events with no compromise of safety or performance."