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Testing report
IndyCar Sebring February testing

O’Ward tops Arrow McLaren 1-2-3 on second day of Sebring IndyCar test

Pato O’Ward outpaced his Arrow McLaren team-mates to lead the final IndyCar test day before the season-opening race at St. Petersburg.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

O’Ward lapped the 1.7-mile Sebring short course in 51.882s, around a quarter second faster than his new team-mate Alexander Rossi and his longer-standing team-mate Felix Rosenqvist who was a tenth further back.

All three were able to outpace Felipe Nasr, Porsche Penske Motorsport’s sportscar ace, who nonetheless did a fine job in the #2 Team Penske normally driven by Josef Newgarden.

Former Formula 1 driver Nasr, the 2018 and 2021 IMSA Prototype champion, last raced an open-wheel car in Formula E in the 2018-19 season, and last drove one in the February 2020 IndyCar Spring Training at Circuit of The Americas. He was particularly impressive in the wet on that occasion driving for Carlin.

Santino Ferrucci was fifth fastest for AJ Foyt Racing, ahead of his first full season in IndyCar since 2019.

He was just ahead of 28-year-old New Zealander Nick Cassidy, the 2019 Super Formula champion, who was trying out an IndyCar for the first time at the wheel of 2021 champion Alex Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing.

Cassidy is currently in his third season of Formula E, competing for Envision Racing, and was hot off the heels of a runner-up finish in Hyderabad last weekend, and managed to a best lap of 52.518s. The Kiwi also completed the most number of laps of any of the cars in action with 156.

Benjamin Pedersen, the rookie and Indy Lights graduate in the second Foyt car, was eighth fastest.

Unfortunately, the #22 Penske that was fitted with a hybrid system in preparation for the 2024 season ground to a halt early, leaving two-time and reigning champion Will Power kicking his heels for much of the day, much like in Monday's test.

However, Power did manage to squeeze in 53.693s lap, 1.9s off O’Ward’s pace, on his 14th and final lap.

Given that the car is heavier than the non-hybrid machinery in action, its weight distribution is incorrect, and Chevrolet insisted the test was all about learning the hardware and software related to the hybrid device rather than trying to set hot laps, the pace could be seen as encouraging.

P Driver Team-engine Fastest lap Laps
1 Pato O'Ward Arrow McLaren-Chevrolet 51.882s 124
2 Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren-Chevrolet 52.134s 102
3 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren-Chevrolet 52.236s 134
4 Felipe Nasr Team Penske-Chevrolet 52.239s 136
5 Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 52.356s 114
6 Nick Cassidy Chip Ganssi Racing-Honda 52.518s 156
7 Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet 52.539s 127
8 Will Power Team Penske-Chevrolet hybrid 53.693s 14

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