Will Power has led home a Team Penske trifecta on the opening day of the pre-season IndyCar test at Barber Motorsports Park.
Originally scheduled for seven hours of running, the test was cut by half owing to misty conditions at the Alabama circuit.
In the end Power clocked the best time of 1:07.649s to lead his Chevrolet-powered Penske team-mates Juan Pablo Montoya (1:07.717s) and Helio Castroneves (1:07.721s).
Power said the cold conditions were perfect for establishing quick lap times.
“We’ve had to try different things, so it’s a good day for that. Obviously the track conditions are exceptional, a lot of grip because it’s so cold, you gain a little bit of downforce.,” Power said.
“You’re always learning, there’s no use in belting around there not learning anything.”
With the Penske trio incredibly close, the next best was reigning series champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi) who clocked 1:07.822s.
There followed AJ Foyt runner Takuma Sato (1:07.861s) and Ryan Briscoe (1:07.883) who is returning to a full-time drive behind the wheel of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi car.
Montoya is returning to the American open-wheel scene where he made a big splash by winning the 1999 CART Championship for Chip Ganassi and the 2000 Indy 500.
“I’m trying to learn how to get more out of the car and we’re getting there,” Montoya told IndyCar.com
“It was good today, but there’s a couple of places that I need to do a little better job and be a little cleaner, but we’re getting there.”
The pre-season testing ahead of the opening round at St Petersburg on March 30 continues tomorrow.
See below for opening day pre-season IndyCar test times
|2||Juan Pablo Montoya||1:07.717|
See below video interviews from Barber test