Today, six teams took to the newest track on the Verizon IndyCar schedule; NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans.
Among those testing today were Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Juan Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden, Luca Filippi, Sebastien Bourdais, Stefano Coletti, James Hinchcliffe, James Jakes, and Graham Rahal.
There were a few notable items, including the first look at Team Penke’s car for Simon Pagenaud. The 22 car was sporting a familiar look, with the same sponsors and colors that Castroneves and Montoya have had in the past. Power’s car features the number 1, instead of his usual 12. The team made the decision a few months ago to make the traditional move to the number as the defending series champion.
Coletti was testing for KV, which ran the number 4 car, which was simply all white. Many of the teams provided pictures of videos on social media, so be sure to follow along as testing continues tomorrow.
Many of the drivers were talking about how fast the track was, and how the fans are really going to appreciate the views on the 13-turn, 2.67-mile course. Castroneves raved about the entire scene; “I had no idea they had this gem in New Orleans. This is an amazing facility and the track is top notch. It’s very, very fast.” The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is the second race of the season, and takes place on April 12.
There were many laps turned on Tuesday. Unofficial times are posted below.
1. 78.9, Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
2. 79.0, Will Power, Team Penske
3. 79.1, Sebastien Bourdais, KV Racing
4. 79.2, Juan Montoya, Team Penske
5. 79.2, Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport
6. 79.3, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
7. 79.4, Stefano Coletti, KV Racing
8. 79.5, James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
9. 79.5, Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
10. 79.5, Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
11. 79.5, Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
12. 80.0, Luca Filippi, CFH Racing
13. 80.1, Josef Newgarden, CFH Racing
14. 80.3, James Jakes, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Below are a few videos from Power, Bourdais, Montoya, Castroneves, and Munoz after today’s practice, courtesy of AJ Copenhagen and The Times-Picayune.