High winds, low temperatures, and a hard crash by Takuma Sato led to the handful of Verizon IndyCar Series teams testing in Texas to pack up early on Thursday.
The visit by nine drivers from A.J. Foyt Racing, Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and Team Penske to the 1.5-mile high-banked oval saw unofficial lap speeds reach a best of 222.5mph with Scott Dixon in his CGR Honda during the morning session.
Sato’s big Turn 2 crash in his RLL Honda saw the reigning Indy 500 winner ricochet from the outside of Turn 2 to the inside, and then back to the outside again, coming to a stop in the middle of Turns 3 and 4, according to one eyewitness.
“Taku’s fine, but the car wasn’t as lucky,” Bobby Rahal told RACER. “It wasn’t what we needed. It got all four corners, but the good thing is he’s OK.”
With the crash cleanup leading teams to take an early lunch, and wind speed continuing to rise, Penske and defending series champion Josef Newgarden packed up. The rest of the teams followed Penske’s example around 3 p.m. as productive running became impossible.
Texas Motor Speedway morning test times:
1: Scott Dixon, Ganassi Honda, 222.5mph
2: Sebastien Bourdais, Coyne Honda, 221.0mph
3: Tony Kanaan, Foyt Chevy, 221.0mph
4: Marco Andretti, Andretti Honda, 219.9mph
5: Josef Newgarden, Penske Chevy, 219.9mph
6: Ed Carpenter, Carpenter Chevy, 219.8mph
7: Takuma Sato, Rahal Honda, 218.9mph
8: Robert Wickens, Schmidt Honda, 217.6mph
9: James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Honda, 217.5mph