Will Power, who has won twice at Barber Motorsports Park and took pole here last year, posted the quickest lap of the morning session – and of the two-day Verizon IndyCar Series Promoter Test – on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course.
The reigning series champion, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, had a best lap of 1:07.3118. That’s a full second quicker than his 2014 pole-winning time on Firestone alternate tires. Scott Dixon holds the track record with a lap of 1:06.7750 in Round 1 of qualifying in 2013, also on Firestone alternate tires that offer more grip and under cooler ambient temperatures that also provide more track grip.
Twenty-one cars turned 680 laps in the session as the ambient temperature is forecast to reach 80 degrees. A 2-7 p.m. ET session will wrap up the initial all-teams test of the aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda in preparation for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 29.
Rookie Stefano Coletti, a GP2 series veteran, was second quick (1:07.5224) in the No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet. Teammate Sebastien Bourdais, driving the No. 11 team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing car, was third (1:07.5829). Graham Rahal in the No. 15 Mi-Jack car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (1:07.6992) was the quickest Honda driver.
“There is a lot of difference between the old car and the new one. Obviously, there is a lot more downforce and it’s a lot quicker,” said Coletti, who has driven both the Dallara IR-12 aero package and the new platform. “For me, the first time here and I really like this track. It’s a lot of fun to drive, demanding and physical. We’ve been working on getting the proper baseline set-up so I could feel good in the car and started pushing today.”
Click here for first session times.