Ryan Hunter-Reay leads IndyCar testing at Sebring
||Monday, March 5th 2012, 23:55 GMT
Ryan Hunter-Reay was quickest for Andretti Autosport on the opening day of the first major group test for the IndyCar Series' new DW12 car.
The field has been split into two groups for four days of testing at Sebring this week, with 11 drivers participating on Monday and Tuesday, and a further 15 running on Thursday and Friday.
Chevrolet runners led the way today, with Hunter-Reay and Penske's Helio Castroneves topping one session each and ending the day first and second on combined times.
"Everybody is making a lot of adjustments to their cars, and the car is a lot of fun," said Hunter-Reay.
"The car is a lot different with the carbon brakes, it being lighter and the power output with the Chevy twin turbo.
"The funny thing is if you didn't have any lap times you'd think you were two or three seconds a lap quicker just because of the power delivery of the turbo. When it gets going, it really sets you back in your seat.
"I think the lap times at St Pete will be quicker, and this car will certainly go faster and faster as we develop it."
Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt-Hamilton) was the quickest of the Honda runners in third, ahead of Andretti new boy James Hinchcliffe and Penske duo Ryan Briscoe and Will Power, the latter's car suffering a small fire in the afternoon.
Andretti's third driver Marco Andretti was between Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson and James Jakes in eighth. Jakes has now been confirmed for a second season at Coyne.
The Lotus contingent had a difficult day. Dragon Racing's Sebastien Bourdais was unable to run at all as his engine was not ready, and Simona de Silvestro (HVM) only managed 31 laps due to a misfire.
Pos Driver Team/Car/Engine Time Gap
1. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.5826s
2. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.7092s + 0.1266s
3. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 52.7311s + 0.1485s
4. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.9125s + 0.3299s
5. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.9275s + 0.3449s
6. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 53.0512s + 0.4686s
7. Justin Wilson Coyne DW12-Honda 53.1770s + 0.5944s
8. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 53.2814s + 0.6988s
9. James Jakes Coyne DW12-Honda 53.9260s + 1.3434s
10. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 54.5640s + 1.9814s