It wasn’t your ordinary late-March test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon for teams of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Ahead of snow in the forecast and strapped with morning temperatures that were in the low 30’s Fahrenheit, testing commencement was pushed back a few hours before a slew of teams took to the track for Dallara IR-18 testing at the winding Indianapolis road course. While it was initially reported that Will Power topped the timesheets, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi was later named as the quickest driver of the day with a 69.08s lap.
Rossi finished ahead of Power, who ran a 69.14s fast lap, while Ed Carpenter Racing’s Jordan King impressed again with the third quickest lap of the day ahead of the Team Penske duo of Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.
“I’m happy we were able to have a productive test after the weather washed us out at Barber,” Rossi told Racer.com. “As a team we are working hard, very hard day in and day out and days like these are representative of that. All of our effort now is focused on the West Coast swing.”
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had an eventful day at IMS, bringing Indy Lights prospect Aaron Telitz along to test James Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 ARROW Honda before handing the car off to Hinchcliffe himself. While Telitz had the slowest quick lap of 71.32s with 55 laps completed, he ran most of those laps in the coldest parts of testing and remained only 0.8s off of James Hinchcliffe’s quickest time of a 70.52s lap.
Additionally, SPM rookie ace Robert Wickens was scheduled to run in his No. 6 Lucas Oil Honda on Friday but was sidelined from competition with a muscle injury. The decision is more precautionary than a concern and Wickens is not expected to miss any extended periods of time.
While teams were cognizant of the weather difference between Friday’s temperatures and what the expected forecast is to be for the second weekend in May, five drivers ran at least 80 laps on the day.
Pagenaud completed a session-high 105 circuits while Ed Jones followed closely behind with 100 laps completed on the day.
Veterans Power, Newgarden and Scott Dixon also logged at least 80 laps in their respective machines.
Teams were expected to return to IMS next week for multiple days of oval testing, but those tests have been rescheduled for late April and early May as impending snow and rain bears down on central Indiana.
On Monday, April 30, the Verizon IndyCar Series will host an open team test that will feature action from 10:00 a.m. ET to 12:00 p.m. ET, then a one hour break for lunch before a final session from 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET wraps up the day.
For Tuesday, May 1, rookies and veterans needing refresher programs will be able to accomplish those tasks on the oval. Rookies will run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET before refresher tests open from 2:00-5:00 p.m. ET that day. Driver Pietro Fittipaldi, Kyle Kaiser, Matheus Leist and Robert Wickens are certain to participate in the rookie orientation program while Jay Howard, Sage Karam and Danica Patrick will take part in the refresher test.
Finally, on Wednesday, May 2, Chevrolet and Honda will host manufacturer tests on the IMS oval with each manufacturer picking their teams and drivers to be represented. Testing on this day will run un-interrupted from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Images courtesy of IndyCar Media.