JR Hildebrand ends Phoenix IndyCar test on top

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 12th February, 2017 - 4:15pm

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JR Hildebrand

JR Hildebrand uncorked the quickest lap on the final day of IndyCar’s pre-season test at Phoenix.

A full-time replacement for Josef Newgarden at the Ed Carpenter Racing operation, Hildebrand attempted to go even quicker but found the fence at Turn 4 in the #21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet with 30 minutes remaining in the three-hour session.

Earlier Hildebrand posted a 193.23 mph (310.97km/h) to best the field at the oval track.

His incident was one of several that also involved Alex Rossi, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais.

“We went back out later trying to go even quicker and had a little bit of a moment,” Hildebrand said.

“(I) just clipped Will (Power) with the right front wing on his left rear pod and it must have just torn off part of the front wing.

“I bent it into Turn 3 and was being cautious with it, but I just picked up huge understeer from not having part of the front wing.

“Couldn’t really avoid getting to the outside wall there, tried to hit the brakes to slow down and it just turned me straight into the inside wall on the front straightaway.”

Ed Carpenter, Hildebrand’s teammate and boss, had the second-best overall lap of the weekend at 192.40 (309.63).

The third fastest from the combined session 3 and 4 results was opening day pacesetter Newgarden (Team Penske) who registered a best of 191.93 (308.88).

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves was next with a 191.66 (308.44) ahead of Will Power 191.63 (308.39).

Simon Pagenaud, the defending series champion for Team Penske) was eighth on combined speeds ahead of Bourdais, James Hinchcliffe while Scott Dixon was 11th fastest.

CLICK HERE for combined results from sessions 3 and 4

 

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