Ryan Briscoe, who suffered a fractured wrist in Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto in mid-July, was cleared by IndyCar medical officials to return to the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car today for a manufacturer/team test at Sonoma Raceway in preparation for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 25.
Eight teams are testing today, including Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing with full-season driver Josef Newgarden and Lucas Luhr getting his initial seat time in an IZOD IndyCar Series car. The five-time American Le Mans Series champion has been confirmed to race in Sonoma in the SFHR’s No. 97 entry.
Also seeing his first track time is 2012 Japanese Formula 3 champion Ryo Hirakawa in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car. He’s been competing in the Super Formula (formerly Formula Nippon) series this season. Full-season driver Justin Wilson is driving DCR’s No. 19 car.
Others taking part include Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and E.J. Viso (Andretti Autosport), Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra (Dragon Racing), Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing), and James Jakes and Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing).
Briscoe is the defending race winner at Sonoma, having won there with Team Penske, and has finished in the top five each of the past five visits to the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course. He started on the front row last year next to then-teammate Will Power, who has won the past three poles at the track.