Newman/Haas team completes 2nd day of Sebring testing
Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) completed a trouble-free, two-day test at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway road course today. Oriol Servia worked through the team’s long list of setup items to test while James Hinchcliffe continued to get acclimated to driving an Indy car.
“The cars ran faultlessly and we are very pleased with the pace of Oriol and James,” said Brian Lisles, general manager of Newman/Haas Racing. “We were able to get through a large part of our program despite the weather. Fifty-degree temperatures don’t sound very bad but our guys deserve accolades for working so long in near-arctic conditions. The wind was unbelievable and it was remarkably cold.”
Like Monday, the temperature never rose above the 50-degree Fahrenheit range but the gusty winds from Monday subsided. Servia completed 73 laps with a best lap time of 53.0 today while Hinchcliffe continued to get build speed in his second day of driving an Indy car. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights series championship runner-up completed 81 laps with a best lap time of 52.8.
“The day went great like yesterday, just more of the same,” said Servia. “I’m very happy with the driving and I am feeling great; no rust. I expected to be much sorer today but I have to give thanks to my physical trainer; I feel great. We had a very specific agenda of a lot of big, different setup changes and I’m very happy that we went through almost all of them which seemed quite impossible with the limited amount of tires you are given for testing. I’m very happy that we made progress and found some direction on things and improved the car. It was a lot of fun. And it was as much fun, or more than I expected to work with James. He’s as funny as he comes across on Twitter and obviously he can pedal too. He was on a little different program but it showed how fast he can be. I’m hoping to work with him and the team in the future. Thank you to the Haas family and the Newman/Haas Racing team that once more made me feel at home. So many good things are happening in the IndyCar Series and I want to be part of it.”
“Today was a very successful day,” added Toronto native Hinchcliffe. “We managed to get me up to speed pretty quickly and got to the point where I was comfortable enough in the car that we could start doing some setup changes and some development work for the team. It was a huge and successful day in that respect. I’m very happy that it didn’t take two days to get up to a reasonable pace and that I was actually able to help the team with their test plans. I’m very grateful to Newman/Haas for the opportunity. It’s a great car to drive; a lot of fun. It really lets you push and hustle and I think it’s certainly something I’m looking to get back into in the future. It was great working with my engineer Bruno, and Oriol as well. He was a huge help over the two days. I can’t thank both of those guys enough, and the whole team for the chance.”
The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS) season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place March 25-27. NHR took their first IICS victory, and 106th overall, in the event in 2008 with Graham Rahal behind the wheel.
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