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NHR Pleased with Pace at Sebring Test with Hinchcliffe
Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) completed a trouble-free day of testing at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway road course today in warm and sunny conditions.  Canadian James Hinchcliffe spent his third day in an Indy car after testing here with the team in December of 2010.  He set the fastest lap time in the morning and afternoon session of the four cars from four different teams that ran each time according to telemetry from Honda Performance Development.

“It was another good day at Sebring with Newman/Haas Racing,” said Hinchcliffe, 24, who completed 97 laps with a best lap time of 54.08.  “The conditions were much different this time than they were back in December.  While the warmer weather was welcome, the hotter track temperatures made the car a bit of a handful because there had been an ALMS test here earlier this week so there was a lot of different rubber down.  When the sun came out and the track got hot it got a little bit greasy but the engineers did a good job managing the conditions and our program.”

Hinchcliffe ran his first laps in an Indy car at Sebring with NHR on December 13-14, 2010 in cold temperatures and windy conditions.  At that test, the young Canadian was assisted by veteran Oriol Servia, who was also testing with the team but the two were the only ones on track.  Today Panther Racing, Andretti Autosport and Target Chip Ganassi Racing each had one car on track during the day with two drivers splitting testing duties for the latter.

“We did a lot more development work this time rather than just getting me up to speed as we did last time,” added Hinchcliffe.  “Because of the track conditions we didn’t get quite as much done as we would have liked but it was certainly a very productive day.  It was great to be on track with some other drivers from other teams to have a baseline.  We did a lot more miles today because the forecast tomorrow doesn’t look so good.  It was good to be able to get those laps in and get some development work done.  I’m hoping for another good day tomorrow provided it stays nice and dry.”

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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