Wickens fastest, Patrick completes Indy refresher

Robert Wickens

Robert Wickens set the pace on IndyCar’s rookie orientation and veteran refresher test day at Indianapolis, with all six drivers including Danica Patrick passing.

Wickens, Kyle Kaiser, and Matheus Leist underwent the three-phase rookie orientation program on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while Patrick, Jay Howard, and Sage Karam were refreshing.

With gearbox problems affecting his #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Wickens switched to team-mate James Hinchliffe’s #5 car after his first phase.

The ex-DTM driver still clocked a fastest lap of 40.8884s (220.111mph, 354.234km/h).

“We had to scramble a little bit to get James’ car ready because it wasn’t scheduled to be going on track, so we had to do some quick fixes and get everything ready to go,” said Wickens.

“It wasn’t ideal because we didn’t really do a seat fit for me in his car. Apart from the seat going in, everything was more ‘get on with it, get the orientation done.’

“We were actually a little pressed for time to get all the phases through in the time allocation we had.”

Danica Patrick

Leist was marginally slower in the #4 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet ahead of veteran Jay Howard, who also used the #5 SPM car before he joins the team’s expanded Indianapolis 500 squad.

Patrick, who last competed in IndyCar in 2011, passed her refresher despite setting the slowest time in the #13 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.

Tony Kanaan was fastest in Monday’s (local time) open test.

The three-day test concludes on Wednesday (local time) with manufacturer testing for Chevrolet and Honda, ahead of the IndyCar Grand Prix on Indianapolis’ road course on May 11-12.

Combined results: Indianapolis rookie orientation and veteran refresh

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Time Avg speed (mph) Session
1 5 Robert Wickens (R) D/H/F 0:40.8884 220.111 Rookies
2 4 Matheus Leist (R) D/C/F 0:40.8956 220.073 Rookies
3 5 Jay Howard D/H/F 0:40.9747 219.648 Veterans
4 32 Kyle Kaiser (R) D/C/F 0:41.0078 219.470 Rookies
5 24 Sage Karam D/C/F 0:41.1710 218.600 Veterans
6 13 Danica Patrick D/C/F 0:41.1900 218.500 Veterans
7 6 Robert Wickens (R) D/H/F 0:42.7340 210.605 Rookies

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