Will Power topped the first day of testing earlier this week at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.
The Penske driver completed only 42 laps with a best of 1:12.505, yet still managed to keep Ganassi rival Scott Dixon (2nd) from leading the table.
Dreyer and Reinbold’s Justin Wilson penetrated the top-three with a quickest run just 0.173 of-a-second shy of Power, while the Briton notched up 47 laps during what appeared to be a productive day. No doubt Wilson will be hoping to bring this form into the season proper. Helio Castroneves lined up 4th on the sheets in the Penske.
James Hinchcliffe garnered the headlines in his outing for Newman-Haas. The series rookie set his best time in the morning, ending 5th overall after a 70 lap session. While his final position was impressive, Hinchcliffe will most likely be prizing the mileage he got to run.
Despite a trip through the gravel, the final Penske of Ryan Briscoe lined up 6th just ahead of KV Racing’s EJ Viso, while the returning Mike Conway headed the Andretti-Autosport group in 8th, albeit half-a-second off Power’s Pace.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti-Autosport) and Alex Tagliani (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) rounded out the top-ten, just pipping the Ganassi pairing of Graham Rahal (11th) and Dario Franchitti (12th).
Takuma Sato (13th, KV Racing) registered a respectable best of 1:13.191, although the Japanese driver suffered a couple of offs during the day. Veteran racer Oriol Servia made a return to IndyCar’s as he ran in a second Newman-Haas entry – it is reported that the Spaniard will be in the car for the first race at St Petersburg next week.
Marco Andretti only ran 48 laps on his to 15th in his Andretti-Autosport machine. The American did finish ahead of four-time Champ Car champion, Sebastien Bourdais. This was the first time that Bourdais had stepped into any sort of IndyCar since his Champ Car days, seeming happy enough with his pace following 69 laps.
Simona de Silvestro (17th, HVM) and Charlie Kimball (18th, Ganassi) were the final runners within one second of Power’s pace. Just outside of that margin were Danica Patrick (19th, Andretti), Vitor Meira (20th, AJ Foyt) and Sebastian Saavedra (21st, Conquest) – all of whom ranked approximately 1.2 seconds down.
Former-Indy Lights Champion, JR Hildebrand finished 22nd for Panther after only 41 laps of running, while surprise tester James Jakes ranked 23rd for Dale Coyne. At the time, Jakes was a complete unknown, but as reported on this site earlier this week, it appears the Briton has split from GP2 drive with Scuderia Coloni.
Ana Beatriz brought up the rear in her Dreyer and Reinbold runner come the chequered flag. With 66 laps under her belt, the Brazilian set a best of 1:15.077 – approximately 2.57 seconds down on Power.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske 1m12.5056s 2. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m12.5538s + 0.0482s 3. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m12.6791s + 0.1735s 4. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m12.7764s + 0.2708s 5. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m12.8729s + 0.3673s 6. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m12.9715s + 0.4659s 7. EJ Viso KV 1m13.0170s + 0.5114s 8. Mike Conway Andretti 1m13.0338s + 0.5282s 9. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m13.1048s + 0.5992s 10. Alex Tagliani Schmidt 1m13.1187s + 0.6131s 11. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m13.1366s + 0.6310s 12. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m13.1524s + 0.6468s 13. Takuma Sato KV 1m13.1913s + 0.6857s 14. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m13.2537s + 0.7481s 15. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m13.2586s + 0.7530s 16. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m13.2904s + 0.7848s 17. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m13.4546s + 0.9490s 18. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m13.4830s + 0.9774s 19. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m13.7102s + 1.2046s 20. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m13.7737s + 1.2681s 21. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m13.8020s + 1.2964s 22. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m14.5534s + 2.0478s 23. James Jakes Dale Coyne 1m14.7775s + 2.2719s 24. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m15.0777s + 2.5721s