IndyCar: Penske 1-2-3 on first day of Spring Training

IndyCar: Penske 1-2-3 on first day of Spring Training


IndyCar: Penske 1-2-3 on first day of Spring Training


The first official Verizon IndyCar Series test of the new year ended the same way the final race of 2013 concluded as Team Penske’s Will Power set the pace on Monday at Barber Motorsports Park. The Aussie led a Penske 1-2-3 during the first day of Spring Training as 22 cars lapped the 2.38-mile road course under dark skies as a cold front continued its path through Alabama.

Power’s 1:07.649 edged teammate Juan Montoya’s 1:07.717 and the 1:07.721 posted by Penske veteran Helio Castroneves.

Defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was fourth for Target Chip Ganassi Racing with a 1:07.822, giving Chevy the first four spots, while A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato closed the top-5 with a 1:07.861, the best of the Honda runners, 0.212 second off of Power’s best.

“It was a very cool day, a lot of downforce; it seemed as though you could make any setup work,” Power told RACER. “It didn’t matter what you ran. All in all, it was a good day.”
Added Montoya: “Just trying to get better and figure out new tires a little bit. I’m trying to learn how to get more out of the car and we’re getting there. It was good today, but there’s a couple of places that I need to do a little better job and be a little cleaner, but we’re getting there.”

Juan Pablo Montoya (LAT photo)Temperatures in the 40s delayed Monday’s activities until the late morning, and once cars did take to the track, lapping was somewhat sparse. The full field eventually made their way to pit lane where Team Penske’s Castroneves set the first representative lap and his teammates soon followed.

A few incidents took place on Monday. KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais crashed when the steering column broke after just 11 laps. His team spent the rest of the afternoon repairing the No. 11 Chevy which will be back out Tuesday morning.

The other major incident involved Schmidt Peterson Mo torsports’ Mikhail Aleshin who suffered what Honda reported as a fuel issue that led to the Russian rookie coasting past the pits with his engine spitting small flames from the right side as it made loud knocking sounds.Honda and SPM were investigating the issue and seeking a solution for Tuesday’s testing activities.​

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Lap times from Monday’s test: