McLaughlin edges Power in Barber IndyCar test

Scott McLaughlin's #3 Team Penske entry at the Barber Motorsports Park test. Picture: Scott McLaughlin Twitter

Scott McLaughlin’s #3 Team Penske entry at the Barber Motorsports Park test. Picture: Scott McLaughlin Twitter

Scott McLaughlin has beaten fellow Team Penske driver Will Power to top spot in the Barber Motorsports Park IndyCar test.

Barber hosts the Grand Prix of Alabama on the weekend of Sunday, April 30 and 16 cars from seven teams fronted up for private testing just over a week on from the 2023 season-opener in St Petersburg.

McLaughlin went as quick as a 1:06.222s during his 104 laps in the #3 Chevrolet, 0.207s up on Power’s best from his 97 laps in Car #12.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard was best of the Honda contingent in third on a 1:06.525s, marginally quicker than Alex Palou in a Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

McLaughlin’s race engineer, Ben Bretzman, said, “We had a big test list of things; a lot of stuff to kind of fine-tune for Barber, but also our road course package [in general].

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“We’ve got a lot of road courses between Barber, Indy road course, Mid-Ohio, Portland… a lot of road courses this year.

“New tyre here for Barber this year, so we had to kind of see what this tyre could do, how do we adjust for this tyre?

“Everything went pretty well; we got through our entire test list, Scott did a really good job, we learned a lot, he learned a lot…

“All sorts of things we tried on the car. There’s some new parts this year that IndyCar has brought for aerodynamics that we had to kind of had to figure out how it would work with this track, and overall, a successful day.”

Rounding out the top five was the third of the Penske drivers in Josef Newgarden, who notched up 46 laps while dealing with illness, with Marcus Armstrong (Ganassi) sixth and David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motorsports) seventh.

St Petersburg race winner Marcus Ericsson was eighth-quickest in the #8 Ganassi Honda, with an off causing wing damage and the consequent repairs restricting his mileage to 40 laps.

The rest of the top 10 was Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) and Scott Dixon (Ganassi), while Juri Vips ended up 13th in the RLLR entry from which Jack Harvey was sidelined following his wild St Petersburg crash.

Texas Motor Speedway plays host to Race 2 of the season on the weekend of April 1-2 (local time) while IndyCar is back at Barber at the end of that month for Race 4.

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Results: Barber private test Unofficial

Pos Driver Fastest lap
1 Scott McLaughlin 1:06.222
2 Will Power 1:06.429
3 Christian Lundgaard 1:06.525
4 Alex Palou 1:06.570
5 Josef Newgarden 1:06.752
6 Marcus Armstrong 1:06.766
7 David Malukas 1:06.775
8 Marcus Ericsson 1:06.779
9 Graham Rahal 1:06.786
10 Scott Dixon 1:06.805
11 Helio Castroneves 1:07.147
12 Benjamin Pedersen 1:07.239
13 Juri Vips 1:07.466
14 Agustin Canapino 1:07.551
15 Sting Ray Robb 1:07.580
16 Simon Pagenaud 1:07.674

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