The day started off as a rough one. Cold weather and a damp track delayed the festivities. What was supposed to be a 10:00am-Noon, 2:00pm-5:00pm day had to be adjusted to a 1:10pm-5:00pm. Lots of track time was lost.
There were only a couple of incidents today. Sebastien Bourdais had an off, making contact on the right rear of the car, causing minor damage though it was enough to cut his day short. Mikhail Aleshin had some sort of internal failure (see Steve's tweet). Juan Pablo Montoya brought out a red flag, though he suffered no damage. And Oriol Servia ended his day after seven laps with a mechanical issue.
Mikhail Aleshin pulled off to the left at the end of the front straight & the marshall handed him a fire extinguisher. #IndyCar #BarberTest
— Steve Wittich (@stevewittich) March 17, 2014
Lap times were down compared to Spring Training at Barber last year. Track conditions probably have a lot to do with that, as the cold air impacts track grip as well as engine effectiveness. In 2013 Spring Training, Will Power (on day 2) finished with session-leading lap time of 1:07.132. Today, Power led the field with a 1:07.649.
Many drivers are sporting their new liveries at the test, which offers the majority of fans a first glimpse at the new paint schemes. I think the best so far has easily been Sebastien Bourdais's KVSH Racing car sponsored by Hydroxycut. Absolutely gorgeous.
Three rookies in the Indycar field are still getting up to speed. As documented above, Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Hamilton Peterson Motorsports ended the day with mechanical failures, though he was the quickest of the rookies, finishing just over a second off of Will Power's time. Jack Hawksworth finished two-tenths off of Aleshin for Bryan Herta Autosport in P19. And Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport rounded out the rookie class in P20, just off of Hawksworth.
TBA is still nowhere to be found. If you find TBA, please bring him to Dale Coyne Racing so their second car can get underway. Thank you.
Even though Chevy locked out the top four positions, Honda did have an impressive showing, proving pace that was feared to have been missing. Several drivers not at Andretti Autosport, the flagship Honda team, did well, including Takuma Sato, Justin Wilson, and Simon Pagenaud.
Having said that, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske look to be alligning themselves for a head-bashing season. Team Penske has been amazingly quick out of the gate, taking the top three spots. Scott Dixon snagged P4, leading the way for Chip Ganassi Racing. Tony Kanaan also makes his official debut for Chip Ganassi Racing, a combination many people are still having a tough time getting used to. Kanaan finished today P12.
|Dixon (left) and Kanaan (not left) address the media (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Imgages North America)|
Mike Conway had an impressive debut for Ed Carpenter Racing, doing things to that car that had never been done a road course (mainly, keeping pace with the front-runners). Him on the twisties and Ed on the ovals could be trouble for the rest of the field.
Many teams and drivers have learned valuable things about the car and have gathered lots of data. Look for several teams and drivers to make strides tomorrow in Day 2!
Official session lap times and laps run:
|2||Juan Pablo Montoya||1:07.717||55|
Bring on day 2!