Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Penske duo on top at Homestead

Penske Racing showed that they will be contenders on road courses this season after topping the timesheets in the first day of official testing at Homestead - Miami Speedway

Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr were the fastest two around the Florida track's 2.21-mile road course, on the first of three days of official testing in the build up to the new season.

With Toyota pulling out after last season, Penske will use the same Honda engine as the rest of the field, however they have not needed any time to acclimatise to the new three-litre power plant.

Castroneves posted a time of 1:11.0146, beating Hornish Jr's best lap by just over a tenth of a second.

"We're feeling pretty happy with today's fast session," Castroneves said. "It's always a good sign when you are at the top of the speed charts. It was good to get out there and get back into a rhythm with the new engine. I'm happy with the car, and I'm looking forward to the next two days of testing."

Hornish, a driver with limited road course experience, was pleased just to have more seat time on a non-oval track.

"We really don't get to do many road course tests so we have to take advantage of the opportunity to run here," Hornish said. "I need the time, and I need the experience. These guys have a lot more laps in these kinds of cars than I do.

"I've run a lot of road courses in my day but I haven't done anything with this much horsepower. It's a step in a different direction from what we had last year."

Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon were next fastest despite Wheldon's day ending early when he ran wide into the tyre barrier in Turn 3.

"I put my right front off of Turn 2, and I just couldn't slow down in time," Wheldon said. "I clipped the right front into the tire barrier, and I crashed."

New Panther Racing recruit Vitor Meira impressed in the team's first day of running since the end of last season. The Former IRL champions struggled to get their programme together for this season, and missed the IRL's other official test session at Phoenix earlier this year.

"It was a good day," Meira said. "Everything that we should have done at Phoenix, we had to do today, so this is my first day of the year. It's a good start. I'm getting to know the team, and the team is getting to know me. For the engineers and the mechanics working on the car, it's their first day of the year too. Fifth-quick is not a bad start at all."

Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti were sixth and seventh fastest respectively.

There will be another day of road course testing today, before the track layout switches to an oval for one more day on Sunday.

Pos  Driver         Chassis    Time        Laps
 1.  Castroneves    Dallara    1:11.0146    85
 2.  Hornish Jr     Dallara    1:11.1228    94
 3.  Dixon          Panoz      1:11.3521    67
 4.  Wheldon        Panoz      1:11.5492    74
 5.  Meira          Dallara    1:11.6765    67
 6.  Kanaan         Dallara    1:11.7066    70
 7.  Franchitti     Dallara    1:11.7341    46
 8.  Matsuura       Dallara    1:12.0530    50
 9.  Rice           Panoz      1:12.1028    58
10.  Herta          Dallara    1:12.1975    49
11.  Sharp          Panoz      1:12.2926    56
12.  Andretti       Dallara    1:12.3134    47
13.  Patrick        Panoz      1:12.4464    73
14.  Scheckter      Dallara    1:12.8518    49
15.  Giaffone       Dallara    1:13.1382    80
16.  Carpenter      Dallara    1:13.6346    53
17.  Dana           Panoz      1:13.6949    93
18.  Lazier         Dallara    1:14.8373    64

All Timing Unofficial

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Lazier lands full-time IRL drive
Next article Ganassi to use Panoz in road races

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe