IndyCar tests move to Sonoma
The weather difference between Florida and Indiana on Feb. 19 wasn't the only reason Ed Carpenter yearned to be at Sebring International Raceway. It was the 13 drivers participating in testing on the 1.7-mile facility - and 20 in all over three days.
Carpenter will get his initial on-track time of the year Feb. 27 at Sonoma Raceway.
"Anytime there are people testing somewhere and you're not there you feel like you're missing something, but we'll get our turn soon and we're excited about that," said the second-year IZOD IndyCar Series team owner/driver. "The season is just around the corner and we have a lot of work to do out there so it should be a good test."
Carpenter will be joined by JR Hildebrand (National Guard Panther Racing), Oriol Servia (Panther DRR), Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro (KV Racing Technology) and Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra (Dragon Racing) as part of a Chevrolet manufacturer test.
Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports) and Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) will participate in a Honda manufacturer test.
Fans will be admitted to the facility for free from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Spectators who purchase a ticket to the Aug. 23-25 GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma during the test will be given a pit tour. A news conference will be held during the lunch break and fans will be admitted free, as well, pending space.
The test day is the last scheduled before the first Open Test of the year at Barber Motorsports Park on March 12-13. The season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 22-24.
"I haven't driven since last December and I'm anxious to get out there," said Pagenaud, the 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year. "We have some work to do on the road course setup. After the Sebring test in December we knew we needed to focus more on the road course this year where the street course has a good package.
"The nice thing this year is we have two cars for sharing information."