Three teams got some track time today at Sebring International Raceway, in preparation for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar season. Team Penske (Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Juan Montoya, Simon Pagenaud), KV Racing (Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Phinny), and Dale Coyne Racing (Carlos Huertas, Rodolfo Gonzalez) all turned laps on the short course on Monday.
Huertas, who drove the No. 19 Honda-powered car, had not been in an IndyCar since the season finale at Auto Club Speedway last August. For Gonzalez, it was his third test this off-season, and second with Coyne. The other team he tested with was with SPM. The 28-year old has driven in the GP2 Series, and spent the past two years as an F1 test driver for Marussia.
This was the first time in an IndyCar for Phinny. He was driving the No. 4 car for KV, which still has yet to name its driver alongside Bourdais for 2015. “It was great to work with KV Racing Technology today,” said the 25-year old Phinny. “It’s always nice when you can enter a situation and immediately feel comfortable. My primary focus was to get acclimated with the Indy car and get as much seat-time as possible. I can’t thank the team enough for all their effort and the opportunity. I’m looking forward to the next outing.”
The four Penske drivers were excited to be back on the track, but even more anxious for their next time, which will be with the new Chevrolet aero kits. Another veteran driver, Bourdais, was having similar thoughts. “Obviously, when we test at NOLA again in a few weeks, we will have the Chevrolet-developed aero kit, so it will be a totally different ballgame. But I’m excited and ready to have fun with it.”
The two Coyne cars will be back on the track tomorrow (Tuesday) for more testing. They have yet to announce either of their drivers for the upcoming season, which begins on March 29 on the streets of St Petersburg.