IndyCar »

Final IndyCar Series test of 2013 underway at Sebring

Eleven drivers from seven teams are getting a jump on the 2014 IndyCar Series season with a two-day test at Sebring this week.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Andretti Autosport, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, AJ Foyt Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing all returned to end-of-sesson testing at Sebring this week, in order to continue their preparations for next season.

"It's nice to get a couple days [of testing in], keep everyone flowing well and get the guys back out here working together," said Josef Newgarden, who enters his third season with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, "I think it keeps everyone on their toes throughout the off-season.

"I think there's a chance to get a little out of rhythm if you're off the track for too long. Even for me as a driver, it's great to be back behind the wheel for a couple of days. It keeps you fresh and keeps your brain thinking over the holidays."

Several of the Honda teams spent their time developing the twin-turbocharged engines that the manufacturer will use in 2014. Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe got his first taste of a Honda-powered car since the team announced it would be switching to the supplier for the 2014 season. In fact, the outing was his first in an IndyCar since the series finale at Auto Club Speedway in mid-October.

“It seems like Fontana was forever ago," Hinchcliffe said, "To get to run in the car is great and especially to get a first taste of the Honda power. It's an exciting new chapter for us, getting to work with [the Honda Performance Development] guys and building some new relationships and learning as much as we can about this new engine."

Also testing throughout the day was series newcomer Mikhail Aleshin, who took the wheel of the #55 SMP Racing entry. The 26-year old Russian ran many laps alongside team-mate Simon Pagenaud in the #77 car.

"It's very important through the winter season to be able to use the test days to experience things we wouldn't do during the race weekend," Pagenaud explained, "There are a lot of items, a lot of experimental things we want to try and hopefully understand what direction they could take us and apply it to the race car in the future."

Takuma Sato tested his AJ Foyt Racing car one day after the announcement that he would return to the team for the 2014 season, while 2012 Pro Mazda champion and 2013 Indy Lights race winner Jack Hawksworth participated in his second IndyCar test, this time with Dale Coyne Racing.

"To me, it's almost like the beginning of 2014 preparations,” Sato noted, “It's good to be back in the car. After Fontana, it's really a long break. I had a lot of events back in Japan, but it's nice to be back in the IndyCar. Today, for me and for AJ Foyt Racing, it's our first day with the new Honda twin turbo engine. I've only done a few laps with it in the morning, but I had a good, positive taste of it. Hopefully, this afternoon we can get more miles on it and get prepared for 2014."

Mike Conway, who will compete with Ed Carpenter Racing on road and street courses next season, tested the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka entry, with team owner/driver Ed Carpenter in attendance as well.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Takuma Sato ready for action in Toronto - Friday, July 12 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones 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)
Helio Castroneves slides into his machine prior to the first session of the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud crosses the line at Fontana during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe go wheel-to-wheel during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon streaks across the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power sits on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud preps on pit lane prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in his pit stand prior to track activity during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Crossing the start/finish line during testing (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud on the podium after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud sits on pit lane prior to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe flashes across the start/finish line during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden lead the field into Turn 6 during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden walks the paddock prior to practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud enters Turn 4 during practice for the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Joe Skibinski 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.