Power leads Penske sweep in testing
|By Matt Beer||Friday, February 26th 2010, 05:40 GMT|
Will Power led a Penske one-two-three on a truncated final day of IndyCar testing at Barber Motorsports Park.
The morning session was cancelled outright due to extremely cold temperatures at the Alabama road course, and there was then a further delay when reigning champion Dario Franchitti crashed heavily. Although the Ganassi driver was unhurt, barrier repairs were required, halting the session for a further hour.
But once the test finally got underway in earnest, Penske showed what a strong force its expanded three-car full-time line-up will be this year, as Power led the way with a 1m09.8724s lap, just over a tenth ahead of his team-mates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe.
Franchitti's crash left Scott Dixon to do most of Ganassi's running and the double champion took fourth place - feeling that a spin and traffic compromised what would have been his best times.
Justin Wilson remained with the lead pack, taking fifth after being third on Wednesday. His Dreyer & Reinbold team-mate Mike Conway also showed much improved form, conquering the set-up issues that had left him down the order on day one and leaping to seventh.
Takuma Sato impressed again with sixth place for KV Racing, although his team-mate EJ Viso lost time with a variety of issues and was only 15th. Potential third driver James Rossiter also continued to test for the squad and was 11th.
Marco Andretti was the best of the Andretti Autosport quartet in eighth, while Indy Lights graduate Mario Romancini took a promising 10th for Conquest.
Danica Patrick was a disappointed 17th, just behind fellow female driver Simona de Silvestro, who was testing for HVM again.
De Ferran Luczo Dragon driver Raphael Matos' day was also cut short by a crash, leaving him 18th ahead of Franchitti and Jay Howard, who took over from Sarah Fisher for the final day.
The IndyCar Series commences on a new street course in Sao Paulo on 14 March, and will race at Barber for the first time on 11 April.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske 1m09.8724s 2. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m10.0084s + 0.1360s 3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m10.0459s + 0.1735s 4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m10.0594s + 0.1870s 5. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.0869s + 0.2145s 6. Takuma Sato KV 1m10.2070s + 0.3346s 7. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.2497s + 0.3773s 8. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m10.3956s + 0.5232s 9. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m10.4451s + 0.5727s 10. Mario Romancini Conquest 1m10.5487s + 0.6763s 11. James Rossiter KV 1m10.5700s + 0.6976s 12. Tony Kanaan Andretti 1m10.6704s + 0.7980s 13. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m10.6963s + 0.8239s 14. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m10.7123s + 0.8399s 15. EJ Viso KV 1m11.3140s + 1.4416s 16. Simona de Silvestro HVM 1m11.3351s + 1.4627s 17. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m11.5112s + 1.6388s 18. Raphael Matos de Ferran Luczo Dragon 1m11.5484s + 1.6760s 19. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m12.9810s + 3.1086s 20. Jay Howard Sarah Fisher 1m14.1883s + 4.3159s