IndyCar Pre-Season Testing (Barber Motorsports Park, March 15th)

Barber Motorsports Park. © Wikipedia Commons

Helio Castroneves nudged Penske teammate, Will Power, off the top of the testing time sheets on the second and final day at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama.

Castroneves ran 71 laps on the second day with a best of 1:11.943 – significantly lowering the bar from the opening day. The Brazilian only held 0.02 of-a-second advantage over Power; however the highly motivated Australian may still be comfortable with the 63 lap day he had.
Scott Dixon (3rd) was the first Ganassi car on the list, followed by the final Penske of Ryan Briscoe (4th). If nothing else, this was another clear warning shot to the rest of the field of Penske’s power (sorry) on the road courses.

Oriol Servia improved to 5th on day two with a 1:12.359 during a 73 lap session in his Newman-Haas machine. Although the Spaniard finished some four-tenths off of Castroneves’ pace, he did hold a one-tenth gap over Takuma Sato (6th, KV Racing), James Hinchcliffe (7th, Newman-Haas) and Marco Andretti (8th, Andretti-Autosport). All three completed very busy programmes.
Dreyer and Reinbold’s Justin Wilson did not improve on the second day, dropping to 9th; however the Sheffield man did run long. Andrett0-Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded-up the top-ten.

Dario Franchitti struggled again on day two, this time only completing 29 laps. The Scot registered the 11th quickest time, just ahead of Alex Tagliani’s Sam Schmidt Motorsport entry.
Danica Patrick rose to 13th on the second day thanks to a best tour of 1:12.963, as she added 50 laps to her roster. Graham Rahal also improved during the final session, although still ended the day 14th, some 1.03 seconds slower than Castroneves.

Neither EJ Viso or Mike Conway went faster than their opening day times, but while Viso logged a busy Tuesday, Conway was only able to manage six laps following an accident in turn 14.
Vitor Meira (17th) and Simona de Silvestro (18th) also advanced ahead of Sebastien Bourdais (19th) who could not better his Monday time, although the trio did not fall shy of laps. Charlie Kimball’s best of 1:13.335 was an improvement in time, however that did not stop the Anglo-American driver from falling to 20th – Kimball still ran an impressive 65 laps.

The mysterious James Jakes improved to 21st in the final session taking him ahead of Conquest’s Sebastian Saavedra (22nd), while Dreyer and Reinbold’s Ana Beatriz rose to 23rd.
JR Hildebrand fell to the bottom of the sheets, but did not run due to accident damaged incurred the previous day.

Pos  Driver               Team               Time        Gap
 1.  Helio Castroneves    Penske             1m11.9434s
 2.  Will Power           Penske             1m11.9636s  + 0.0202s
 3.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi            1m12.2815s  + 0.3381s
 4.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske             1m12.2954s  + 0.3520s
 5.  Oriol Servia         Newman/Haas        1m12.3594s  + 0.4160s
 6.  Takuma Sato          KV                 1m12.4742s  + 0.5308s
 7.  James Hinchcliffe    Newman/Haas        1m12.5200s  + 0.5766s
 8.  Marco Andretti       Andretti           1m12.5255s  + 0.5821s
 9.  Justin Wilson        Dreyer & Reinbold  1m12.6791s  + 0.7357s
10.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti           1m12.7749s  + 0.8315s
11.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi            1m12.8447s  + 0.9013s
12.  Alex Tagliani        Schmidt            1m12.8533s  + 0.9099s
13.  Danica Patrick       Andretti           1m12.9638s  + 1.0204s
14.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi            1m12.9804s  + 1.0370s
15.  EJ Viso              KV                 1m13.0170s  + 1.0736s
16.  Mike Conway          Andretti           1m13.0338s  + 1.0904s
17.  Vitor Meira          Foyt               1m13.1151s  + 1.1717s
18.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                1m13.2671s  + 1.3237s
19.  Sebastien Bourdais   Coyne              1m13.2904s  + 1.3470s
20.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi            1m13.3351s  + 1.3917s
21.  James Jakes          Coyne              1m13.4323s  + 1.4889s
22.  Sebastian Saavedra   Conquest           1m13.6503s  + 1.7069s
23.  Ana Beatriz          Dreyer & Reinbold  1m13.9431s  + 1.9997s
24.  JR Hildebrand        Panther            1m14.5534s  + 2.6100s

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