Team testing for the upcoming season in the Verizon IndyCar Series got underway yesterday at Sebring International Raceway, and continued today with even more drivers hitting the short course in southern Florida.
Andretti teammates Zach Veach and Alexander Rossi put down some laps, as well as Sebastien Bourdais in his No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda. Oddly enough, the 23-year old Veach said he was “blown away” by the new aero kit, but Bourdais admitted that there was “a struggle” in getting used to the new configuration.
Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay joined their Andretti teammates at Sebring today, where they put in quite a few laps. Ryan’s DHL livery and Rossi’s NAPA machine were all decked out, and looked amazing.
Chip Ganassi’s new dynamic duo arrived today, with four-time series champion Scott Dixon, and last year’s Rookie of the Year Ed Jones. There was a new shade of blue on the NTT data car, which looked fantastic on the new body style.
There was an allotted time of five hours to test each day, but Bourdais and the crew had some electrical issues that limited their time on the track. The four-time champion told RACER that they will get things figured out, but that it will just take time. “It’s definitely a very different animal from what we’ve had the last three years. We’re going to have rethink a lot of setups – it’s very rear-ride height sensitive, so as soon as you hit the brakes and the rear gets up you lose a lot of rear downforce and the thing starts moving around.”
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Veach noted the valuable experience he has at his disposal. “Sitting in an engineering room and being able to listen to what Ryan, Alex, or Marco have to say, you’re in constant listening mode. I have three great teammates to lean on while I’m still working on myself, and I’ll provide feedback where I can, but at this point, it’s about taking on board everything I can from everyone.”
The next bit of testing comes January 22 at Homestead, where Carlin teammates Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball will each get a half-day of testing. After that is the big team test at Sebring on January 24, with nearly everyone participating.