Prodigal pilot J.R. Hildebrand – who’d been out of a full time ride for years – shot to the top of the speed charts Saturday during IndyCar’s open test at Phoenix International Raceway. Reaching speeds of over 193 miles per hour on the 1.02 mile oval in the afternoon session, J.R.’s nineteen second lap held up as the quickest of the weekend. Hildebrand then reverted to form and crashed during the evening session after contacting Mad Will Power.
Photo from indycar.com
Hildebrand’s ECR teammate and owner Ed Carpenter posted the second highest speed of the test at over 192 mph as Chevy swept the top five speeds overall. He was followed by the Penske trio of Josef Newgarden, Helio and Power. Recently featured Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin impressed as top Honda in sixth place with a lap of just over 191 mph. Clearly he wasn’t horsing around and no fake news was reported or influenced the results.
The two day test, which fully involved nearly every team with the exception of Dale Coyne Racing and KVSH Racing, was truly uneventful. For IndyCar, its teams and drivers, that’s a positive development.
Teams methodically tried out new aero kit parts and other pieces on track at IMS this week, but certainly didn’t aim for any new track records – Marco Andretti of all people was quickest at just over 223 mph. Both the April weather and the introduction of different winglets and assorted other pieces from Chevy and Honda saw to that. Of particular interest was the debut of controversial new domed skids beneath the cars, an effort to avoid last year’s airborne follies. Or as we referred to it, “Mark Miles’ Flying Circus.” In the unending search for the fountain of safety, it looks like the skids are here to stay.
Photo from ap.org
By all reports the test was clean and green with some knowledge gleaned from the first outing prior to the most important race in history. Continue reading →
Silly Season Standstill: As has never been said by anyone anywhere before, no silly season news is could silly season news. Swiss Miss Simona de Silvestro could end up at Andretti Autosport though nothing’s been announced officially yet. Same with KV and Coyne’s cars – they tested some new drivers as we noted last week but no official announcements have been made. We’ll have more thoughts on Simona in the future, but for now there’s been no movement on the possible final four seats for 2015 or any definite word they’ll all in fact materialize. This will soon change with crucial aero kit testing only a week away.
Photo from galleryhip.com
Aero Kits Delivered & Desultorily Drubbed: As promised and amidst great secrecy, both Chevy and the ultra secret Honda aero kits were officially delivered last weekend to IndyCar’s nine teams who frantically began assembling the pieces on the cars. They’ve little time to complete their work before testing at NOLA, Texas Motor Speedway or Sebring officially begins March 13. The public Barber test will occur March 16-17 according to indycar.com, when all the teams will gather for the first time to test the new kits.