After seven cars hit the Texas Motor Speedway oval on Tuesday, ten more took part in a private NTT IndyCar Series test on Wednesday. In all, 17 drivers hit the pavement with Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward owning the top spot on the speed chart when the test concluded.
O’Ward put down a lap of 23.325 seconds with an average speed of 222.25 mph. This is the third time this offseason that the 21-year old has had the fastest time in group testing. It could be something or it could be nothing. The team is hoping for the former, as they gear up for the season-opening race on April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park.
“We had a good day and tested a lot of things,” O’Ward told RACER. “For me and the team, it was great to get a lot of changes under our belt for when we come back. But man, it was windy, and man, it was cold, and that’s a lot different than it normally is. It’s always looks good when you’re the fastest, but really, the first few positions were because of big tows. I’m feeling a lot more confident coming back to Texas for the race.”
Andretti Autosport driver Alexander Rossi was second-fastest on the day with Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey just behind him. Team Penske drivers Simon Pagenaud and Will Power rounded out the top five from Wednesday’s test. Their newest teammate Scott McLaughlin had a solid session and revealed that he will be driving the yellow submarine in the Indianapolis 500.
There was one reported incident on Wednesday when Sebastien Bourdais brushed the wall in Turn 2 that resulted in some minor damage. The No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet made light contact with less than 30 minutes remaining in the test. Power recorded the most laps (247) today and Pato’s new teammate Felix Rosenqvist put in the least with 136 total laps.
Unofficial times from Wednesday’s test:
- Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy (222.25mph)
- Alexander Rossi, No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda (220.84mph)
- Jack Harvey, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda (220.54mph)
- Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Team Penske Chevy (220.45mph)
- Will Power, No. 12 Team Penske Chevy (220.41mph)
- Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevy (220.07mph)
- Colton Herta, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda (219.62mph)
- Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy (219.58mph)
- Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske Chevy (218.91mph)
- Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevy (218.73mph)
- Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy (218.66mph)
- Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Team Penske Chevy (218.16mph)
- Takuma Sato, No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda (217.81mph)
- Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda (217.75mph)
- James Hinchcliffe, No. 29 Andretti Autosport Honda (217.46mph)
- Graham Rahal, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda (216.94mph)
- Dalton Kellett, No. 4 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevy (216.70mph)
After two days of on-track activity, there is more to come tomorrow. Dale Coyne Racing will have Ed Jones and Pietro Fittipaldi on hand to do a refresher test. Cody Ware, NASCAR driver and son of co-owner Rick Ware, will also get his oval Rookie Orientation practice on Thursday.
The next stop for most teams will be the April 8-9 Open Test on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams and drivers will start their preparations for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 which is exactly two months from today.
Photos courtesy of IndyCar