In an effort to try to figure out the new IndyCar chassis the quickest, many drivers are chose to take part in the test session on March 13th and 14th at Barber Motorsports Park. The test at Barber was a private test, so therefore data will not be available for viewing.
It is hard to tell which team has an advantage this early in the season looking at test, as some are working on aerodynamics while others are working on race set-ups.
“Any track time that we get is so valuable,” Ryan Briscoe says. “As we get closer to St. Pete, every bit of mileage gets more and more important. From getting used to all the new features on the car like the brakes or the clutch and other things like that, those are things that we will have to have mastered before the first race. I did a fair bit of testing during the winter and I feel quite acclimatized to the car, but you can never have too much running time.”
Despite this being in consideration, drivers do pay attention to how their fellows competitors are running.
“It’s super important to do tests days like these where there are other cars out because you do have to get a feel for how quickly other people are figuring things out,” JR Hilderband says. “At the same time, when (Sebring) gets gripped up, it’s like no place else. It’s rough like a street course and super grippy like a road course. We try to take it for what it is, but it’s great to do this much running this close to the season.”
So far, it looks like two-time IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon has the advantage as he led the Open Test at Sebring International Raceway.
The Chevrolet teams testing at Barber test were all three Team Penske drivers (Briscoe, Helio Castroneves and Will Power), Panther Racing’s Hilderbrand, all three cars from KV Racing Technology (E.J. Viso, Rubens Barrichello and Tony Kanaan), Ed Carpenter Racing’s entry driven by Ed Carpenter and all three cars for Andretti Autosport (Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay).
The Honda teams testing at Barber were both entries from Dale Coyne Racing (Justin Wilson and James Jakes), Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing’s Graham Rahal, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Josef Newgarden and Nova Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball.
Elsewhere, Dario Franchitti and Dixon were testing at Homestead-Miami on March 14th.