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Teams head west for latest pre-season test

"It makes sense for all involved," explained Hunter-Reay. "I get a different perspective on things, and Ed Carpenter Racing being a one-car team gets a different perspective as well. So it's a good opportunity."

"One of the great things about being a part of Team Chevy is that we really do work together, and this is a part of that," added Carpenter. "Marco ran my car at Fontana when we did the Chevy test out there [in 2012], and this is kind of part two."

JR Hildebrand came in just under the 1:20s mark for Panther Racing, while Simona de Silvestro was disappointed to finish at the bottom of the time sheets in the second KV Racing car a few hundredths off Hildebrand.

The big test of the pre-season period will come at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on March 12-13, with the season-opener to the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series set fr the streets of St Petersburg on March 24.

“It definitely feels like the season is almost upon us,” said Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Graham Rahal at the prospect of the Barber open test, which will allow fan attendance.

ABC Supply extends AJ Foyt Racing sponsorship

ABC Supply will remain their sponsorship of AJ Foyt Racing through to the 2015 season, the two companies announced this week. The extension takes the partnership between them to 11 years, making it the second-longest running sponsorship in the IZOD IndyCar Series

“We have had such great success with our sponsorship program so far it wasn't a tough decision to keep it going,” said ABC Supply's David Luck. "We are really looking forward to seeing Takuma Sato behind the wheel of the ABC Supply car this year.

"Takuma joined us on our recent customer cruise and he was great with our guests," Luck added. "It's going to be an exciting and fun year!

Disney sells ESPN UK to BT Vision

ESPN's UK and Ireland television channels have been sold to BT Vision, it was announced this week. BT will continue to operate at least one ESPN-branded channel, while also acquiring ESPN's existing UK and Ireland rights to soccer matches from the FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the German Bundesliga, as well as rights to US sports including NCAA College Basketball and NCAA College Football for broadcast on the new BT Sports channels. I's not confirmed which platforms will carry the channels, or what the subscription rates will be.

Moreover, the situation regarding IndyCar coverage in particular remains unclear. Earlier this month, ESPN UK beat Sky Sports to acquire the live broadcast rights of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, but the championship is not mentioned in BT Sports press releases regarding this week's acquisition of the channels. Enquiries on the BT Vision website indicated that the situation regarding IndyCar was still in flux and plans uncertain, with representatives only saying that IndyCar will continue to be aired until the deal to acquire ESPN UK is finalised in July.



Related Pictures

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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]
Justin Wilson in the #18 Sonny`s Barbecue Dale Coyne Racing Honda during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
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]
Conor Daly tests at Sebring International Raceway (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Tristan Vautier testing at Sebring International Raceway (Photo Credit: John Hendrick for IndyCar Media)
Bryan Herta Autosport 2015 Indy 500 entry sponsored by Green1. (Picture Credit: Bryan Herta Autosport)
Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan takes a selfie with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew in Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The #12 Penske crew celebrate title success (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin slides into his machine prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)

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