Penske declared itself immediately impressed with Juan Pablo Montoya's pace on his IndyCar test return, as he lapped close to series frontrunner Will Power's times at Sebring on Monday.
Three-time series runner-up Power set benchmark times for new team-mate Montoya in the morning before handing the car over to the Colombian, who is making his single-seater return after seven and a
half years in NASCAR following his Formula 1 departure.
Penske team president Tim Cindric said Montoya had shown his speed straight away.
"He was within a few tenths of Will in the first outing," said Cindric. "It was pretty impressive really.
"We put him out on old tyres just to learn where the gearshifts were and then put him back on Will's tyre and he was within a couple tenths right out of the box."
Montoya rated his performance as "an eight" out of 10.
"The biggest thing is that everything is still happening really fast," he said.
"It's OK but as it happens so fast you end up making mistakes. More time in the car and everything will slow down and it will be easier.
"That's kind of normal and it's happened to me before a few times, so I know that with time everything will be easier. I'm happy.
"I'm surprised the speed has been pretty good. Just a few too many mistakes. Like my engineer said, 'just a bit sloppy'. It's understandable for a first day."
HALF A SECOND TO FIND
While impressed with how close Montoya had got to the pace already, Cindric acknowledged that finding the remaining time might be harder.
"He's probably a half a second off the guys who were here last week, but that's not too bad," said Cindric.
"Finding the last half second without losing his confidence will be the challenge."
Montoya added that he had already been impressed by Penske, which had previously been a key rival in his years in CART and NASCAR with Chip Ganassi's squads.
"What's amazing and great is the people at Team Penske," said Montoya. "Their dedication and people are unbelievable. I'm honoured to be here.
"Gil de Ferran told me that you will not believe it when you work with these people and he wasn't kidding.
"Every person on this team cares. It's pretty unbelievable."