EJ Viso and Simona de Silvestro had good days with their new teams (Andretti-HVM and KV Racing respectively), and Oriol Servia was also on the pace in seventh place for the day putting him ahead of the next-fastest Honda runner, Ganassi's Scott Dixon. The top ten was rounded out by Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's Josef Newgarden and Schmidt-Peterson's Simon Pagenaud.
Further back, AJ Allmendinger was making progress in his first on-track appearance since it was confirmed that Penske would be fielding him in this year's Indianapolis 500 event in May, as well as a 'warm-up' in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama held here at Barber the previous month.
"Today was another positive step in the learning process, and I thought the #2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet showed some good speed," said the former NASCAR Sprint Cup and Champ Car World Series regular. "We need as many laps as we can get but my team mates are being great about sharing information to accelerate the learning curve and I am excited to see what we can get done tomorrow."
Ana Beatriz was also back in action over at Dale Coyne Racing alongside Justin Wilson, as she prepares for an expected but as-yet unconfirmed partial season with the team in the oval events, plus an outing in her native Brazil in the Sao Paulo race.
"It was good to be back in the car, I'd like to thank Dale for the opportunity," she said. Beatriz finished at the bottom of the timesheets, but that was because her track time was limited. "Unfortunately, we had some mechanical problems, so I didn't get to run as much as I'd like to. I wish I had more time, but it was a good to get back in a car."
Beatriz won't have the chance to get back behind the wheel on Wednesday, either, as the #18 is being turned over to Stefan Wilson, last year's third-place finisher in the Firestone Indy Lights championship - and also Justin's younger brother.
"I'm looking forward to it, it will fun seeing him out there," said Justin of the prospect of being team mates for the day with Stefan. "We have a lot work to do, it's going to be a steep learning curve from him. But we'll push on and see how it goes."
Justin said that it would be a first for the brothers to actually be team mates, at least at this level. ""We did a go-kart event where we spent about five minutes on the track at the same time. That's it."
Whether Stefan gets a shot at a race start in the 2013 IndyCar season is still to be confirmed, but if the deal comes together than the younger Wilson could be taking the #18 for the remaining road courses other than Brazil.
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