Ten driver-car combinations from six IZOD IndyCar Series teams completed a test Feb. 27 at Sonoma Raceway in advance of the first IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on March 12-13 at Barber Motorsports Park. The season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 24.
Spectators were welcome to watch the morning and afternoon sessions and participate in a Q&A with drivers during the break.
“This is a great time of year to be out on track,” said JR Hildebrand, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car and a resident of nearby Sausalito, Calif. “Run to run, morning to afternoon, things are much more consistent. Once you get into summer, that element changes. It’s a very temperature-sensitive track. As far as the actual track conditions go, they are always a little bit different.”
It was the initial on-track activity of the year for Hildebrand and Ed Carpenter Racing owner/driver Ed Carpenter.
Other participants included KV Racing Technology’s Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro, Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Tristan Vautier, Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports’ Simon Pagenaud, and Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
The 23-year-old Vautier continued to impress after successful tests at Sebring earlier this month. He found Sonoma’s 2.3-mile, 12-turn road course to his liking.
“It was a good test, but it was different from Sebring,” Vautier said. “We got a good lap at the end of the day, but I need to work on my consistency over the course of a stint. It was a positive experience, but I have a lot to learn.”