Rahal fastest on Day 1 of Phoenix IndyCar test

Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal has topped the timesheets with the fastest lap of the evening session on Day 1 of the official IndyCar test at Phoenix Raceway.

Rahal clocked a best time of 19.4574s on the 1.022mi-long oval, while his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda team-mate Takuma Sato had achieved the benchmark in the afternoon with a 19.6726s.

Scott Dixon

Will Power

Sato improved under lights to be second-fastest on combined times, ahead of Team Penske Chevrolet pair Simon Pagenaud and 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Honda) was eighth-fastest and Will Power (Team Penske Chevrolet) 11th-fastest.

All 22 full-time entries, plus Kyle Kaiser in the Juncos Racing Chevrolet which he and Rene Binder will share during the season, took to the track for the first short oval running with the new universal aero kit.

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“It’s the most fun I have had on a short oval in years,” said Rahal.

“The car is much more driver sensitive. To me, it’s what an Indy car should be on a track like this.

“We’re good and Takuma is right behind us, and frankly that lap wasn’t anywhere near what the potential was. We were on a (19.30s lap), but I caught traffic.”

The day was largely trouble-free, with only rookie Matheus Leist coming unstuck.

The Brazilian spun his AJ Foyt Chevrolet exiting Turn 2 but stayed off the wall.

Testing continues on Saturday local time (Sunday AEDT) with two more three-hour sessions.

Combined results: Phoenix test

Pos Num Driver Team C/E/T Time Session
1 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan D/H/F 0:19.4574 Fri evening
2 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan D/H/F 0:19.4600 Fri evening
3 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske D/C/F 0:19.5256 Fri evening
4 1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske D/C/F 0:19.5513 Fri evening
5 14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Racing D/C/F 0:19.5904 Fri evening
6 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport D/H/F 0:19.5990 Fri evening
7 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta w/ Curb-Agajanian D/H/F 0:19.6393 Fri evening
8 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing D/H/F 0:19.6807 Fri evening
9 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport D/H/F 0:19.7134 Fri evening
10 4 Matheus Leist (R) AJ Foyt Racing D/C/F 0:19.7154 Fri evening
11 12 Will Power Team Penske D/C/F 0:19.7432 Fri evening
12 18 Sebastien Bourdais DCR w/ Vasser-Sullivan D/H/F 0:19.8250 Fri a’noon
13 21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing D/C/F 0:19.9261 Fri evening
14 6 Robert Wickens (R) Schmidt Peterson D/H/F 0:19.9364 Fri evening
15 23 Charlie Kimball Carlin D/C/F 0:19.9495 Fri evening
16 20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing D/C/F 0:20.0271 Fri evening
17 5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson D/H/F 0:20.0465 Fri evening
18 10 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing D/H/F 0:20.0593 Fri a’noon
19 59 Max Chilton Carlin D/C/F 0:20.0626 Fri evening
20 19 Pietro Fittipaldi (R) Dale Coyne Racing D/H/F 0:20.0669 Thu rookie
21 26 Zach Veach (R) Andretti Autosport D/H/F 0:20.1814 Fri evening
22 32 Kyle Kaiser (R) Juncos Racing D/C/F 0:20.2367 Fri a’noon
23 88 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing D/C/F 0:20.3407 Fri evening
24 26 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport D/H/F 0:20.5878 Thu rookie

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

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