Bourdais tops 13-car Honda test at Sonoma (Update)

UPDATE Added test times below. As you can see, Sebastien Bourdais, who won for Dale Coyne Racing in St. Petersburg, topped both sessions.

Scott Dixon with NTT Livery for this weekend in LB
Scott Dixon with NTT Livery for this weekend in LB

04/04/17

Thirteen drivers from five Verizon IndyCar® Series teams completed a one-day Honda test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday.

This marked the largest IndyCar test of the year so far at Sonoma Raceway, which will host the 2017 series season finale for the third consecutive year at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17.

Participating Honda teams and drivers were Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton, Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastian Bourdais and Ed Jones Jr., Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin, as well as Graham Rahal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Tony Kanaan in the sister NTT Data car
Tony Kanaan in the sister NTT Data car

"With the cooler temperatures, there’s a lot of downforce in the car and a lot of grip," said Hunter-Reay, who has posted three top-five finishes in his last three Sonoma starts. "It’s a bit different than when we’re here at the end of the season, when the track temps are hotter and we’re sliding around a bit more. It’s great to get back in the car here. It’s a very demanding track and there’s a small window to get it all right. We’re trying to tweak the settings a bit to make that window a bit bigger."

The test provided the first turns in Honda-powered cars for the Chip Ganassi Racing drivers at Sonoma Raceway since 2013. Ganassi returned to Honda engines for the 2017 season after three years with Chevrolet.

Alexander Rossi in the NAPA Auto Parts car
Alexander Rossi in the NAPA Auto Parts car was 2nd quick overall

"The aero package is one thing, which is vastly different in the way that it works and how efficient it is from one manufacturer to the other, and the (Honda) engine is another added difference, but for me, personally, the engine has been very good drive-ability wise and has good power, and it’s very adjustable, too," said Dixon, a three-time Sonoma winner.

In addition to the on-track action, Sonoma Raceway hosted Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) for an on-site blood drive. Race fans turned out to support the cause, collecting 20 pints of blood, which is enough to save up to 60 lives.

The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Sonoma, Sept. 15-17, for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma championship weekend. For tickets or more information, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit SonomaRaceway.com/indycar.

Morning Times

Driver No. Best Time Laps
Bourdais 18 77.51s 36
Hunter-Reay 28 77.53s 26
Andretti 27 77.55s 30
Sato 26 77.67s 30
Rossi 98 77.86s 29
Rahal 15 77.92s 27
Kanaan 10 77.94s 37
Chilton 8 78.03s 25
Kimball 83 78.10s 34
Dixon 9 78.19s 16
Hinchcliffe 5 78.25s 34
Aleshin 7 78.37s 29
Jones 19 79.56s 11

Afternoon Times

Driver No. Best Time Laps
Bourdais 18 77.06s 43
Rossi 98 77.24s 42
Andretti 27 77.25s 60
Dixon 9 77.39s 52
Sato 26 77.44s 46
Chilton 8 77.53s 44
Hinchcliffe 5 77.55s 40
Hunter-Reay 28 77.64s 31
Aleshin 7 77.64s 29
Rahal 15 77.69s 66
Jones 19 77.73s 33
Kimball 83 77.89s 52
Kanaan 10 78.18s 22

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