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Luhr says first IndyCar test valuable despite lack of running

Luhr says first IndyCar test valuableLucas Luhr believes that he gained a lot from his first outing in an IndyCar yesterday, despite his running time being limited by a mechanical problem.

The German, who will make his series debut in a second Sarah Fisher Hartman entry at Sonoma next week, completed just 10 laps of the Northern Californian track during testing yesterday due to time lost to a radio harness issue.

He was unofficially timed with a best lap of 1m23.6s, using the tyres that team-mate Josef Newgarden used to shake the car down prior to handing it over to the 34-year-old, and said that the opportunity to get familiar with the car will prove useful ahead of his second test at the circuit next Wednesday.

"My very first out lap - it was a shock," said the Muscle Milk ALMS regular. "After a few laps, I kind of got a feeling for what it's about and how you have to drive it different a little bit than the LMP1 car.

"It's just me getting used to the car, understanding the technique, what kind of changes I have to do to fit my driving style. And then it should not be so bad."

Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was the pacesetter on a day defined by a green and slippery track, the Andretti driver clocking an unofficial 1m08.8s.

The test also marked the return to the cockpit of Panther's Ryan Briscoe, who drove with a splint to protect the wrist injury that sidelined him from Mid-Ohio two weeks ago. The Australian finished up third fastest behind James Hinchcliffe.

"It doesn't feel too bad," Briscoe told AUTOSPORT. "The main problem is that the splint keeps getting in the way."

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