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All smiles for Penske at Barber

"The car was really fast and P2 today shows all the hard work the Team Penske and Chevrolet guys have put in over the offseason," the Brazilian IndyCar veteran continued. "The grip was incredible and the close times today show how competitive the racing will be this year. Hopefully tomorrow is another good day so we can keep getting ready for St. Pete."

As well as topping the timesheets on day 1 at Barber, Penske was also celebrating the return of a former team sponsor to the fold - and hoping that it was a good sign of things to come in 2013.

"I'm really excited to introduce Quicken Loans back to Team Penske," said team president Tim Cindric. "They were a team partner back in 2003 and 2004, and, in fact, the first race that they were on the car in 2003 we ran 1-2 at Indy. We hope to bring that back to the organisation!"

Power and Castroneves weren't the only ones to be going fast at Barber: in fact, 20 of the 26 drivers at work on Tuesday ended up within a second of the top time, and fully 25 of them posted times quicker than the official track record.

"The work that was done during the year last year and also engine work with the engine manufacturers," was Power's explanation for why times were so much faster this visit. "And it's a little cooler, which helps turbo and it helps grip. It's just a very fast situation."

"When the offseason is so long, our speed bottles up!" joked Andretti Autosports' James Hinchcliffe, who was the third-fastest runner on Tuesday, making it an all-Chevrolet top three on the end-of-day timesheets.

Surprisingly, Mike Conway was the fastest of the Honda-powered runners for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Conway caused a stir at the end of 2012 by deciding he no longer wanted to race on ovals, but RLL have handed him a one-off seat for the Long Beach street race - an event he won in 2011.

"Today was about getting comfortable in a car, working with the guys and seeing how they work and getting myself dialled in for Long Beach," said the British racer. "I think we got through a lot of stuff, and hopefully helped the guys out for tomorrow."

Conway will not be testing for the second of the two-day test session at Barber and instead will be handing over the #16 car to his compatriot James Jakes, while Graham Rahal will continue in the team's #15.

"Hopefully he'll like some of the things we got through today and be quick out of the box," said Conway. "Productive day and I think Graham and I got through quite a bit of work, so when the team comes back for the race weekend they will be strong."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dario Franchitti at the wheel of the Ganassi #10. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Marco Andretti tries out the Andretti Autosport #25. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on track at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Mike Conway. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Ana Beatriz testing the Dale Coyne Racing entry. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Penske`s Will Power in the pits consulting with his team. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Penske line-up Will Power and Helio Castroneves. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
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Graham Rahal Detroit
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