Ryan Hunter-Reay Tops Speed Charts in Practice for Sunday's Long Beach Grand Prix

Story posted - Apr 20 2013 12:10 AM

Ryan Hunter-Reay Tops Speed Charts in Practice for Sunday's Long Beach Grand Prix

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2013) – At the conclusion of today's two practice sessions for the Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy, defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay turned in the fastest time of the combined sessions behind the wheel of his No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet.

Other Team Chevy drivers turning in times that landed them in the top-10 were: Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – 3rd; Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet – 5th and James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 9th.

The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to the track for a 35-minute practice session at 10:00 a.m. PDT Saturday morning in preparation for qualifying that is slated to start at 2:00 p.m. PDT.

In addition to the on-track competition, Chevrolet will debut its all-new 2013 Chevrolet Racing Display in the Lifestyle Expo at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. In addition to a number of Chevrolet vehicles for fans to see, there will be games and other interactive activities for fans of all ages. The display will open at 8:00 a.m. PDT Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The highlight of the display activities for the fans will be several Question and Answer sessions with many of the Chevrolet IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. Scheduled to appear are: Team Penske's Will Power, Helio Castroneves and A.J. Allmendinger at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday; KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro on Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and the "Champ", Ryan Hunter-Reay from Andretti Autosport, will meet the fans at 10:45 a.m. All times are Pacific Times.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy is scheduled to start Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. PT (3:15 p.m. ET) with live television coverage on NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211 and www.indycar.com. Race timing and scoring can also be found on www.indycar.com.

TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FASTEST IN PRACTICE: ON TODAY'S PRACTICE: "It was great to be back on track here at Long Beach. It is always a great day when we open up practice here. It was a weird day; we just never a rhythm with the stoppages, and incidents out there. I really didn't get to see who was involved, or what happened. But, it took a little bit of time out of what we were trying to accomplish with the car. But that is just part of street racing. Again, it was just great to be on track here. Always have loved Long Beach. Love getting back into a rhythm with this race track, and, unfortunately Mike (Conway, second fastest today) likes it too. It's a good time out there. We're always just pushing each other. Fortunately we didn't get enough work done today on my car that we wanted to heading into qualifying on Saturday. We'll get done in the morning, hopefully, in practice three, and look forward to qualifying."

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR THAT IS PRODUCING BETTER RESULTS IN PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING? "It is just the strength of the team, and we are really working hard. We are zeroing in on what we need to focus on over a race weekend. It's a matter of making the most of practice, and not only getting the most out of the car, but getting the most out of the driver in qualifying. I am always pushing myself as well, but it's tough too…last year, I think we were in the top-three or four quite a few times. It's a matter of a tenth or so. It swings very easily one way or the other. It is very tough. You lock a right front here or there, and all of a sudden you went from a lap that would have been good enough for a pole to P5. It's really tough, but this year, we just seem to be executing a little better. We are only three races in, so it is way too early to say."

HOW MUCH TIME HAVE YOU TAKEN TO LEARN THE TIRES SO FAR THIS YEAR, PLUS GO FAST? "We try and take the black tires as far as we can…the primaries. The reds we don't get to try until we are in qualifying obviously. So, you kind of see what you get at the moment that you need to perform. It's hard, and it's tough. In many cases in a race, your will find out what you have in reds, and how far off they fall. But you get a good idea for the black primaries early in the weekend as to how much they degrade. Obviously that will be slightly less as the weekend goes on with more rubber down. It's a moving target though. It's always moving. You can never pinpoint. You just have to make your best guess on race day, and stick with it."

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 3RD IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "We still have some work to do on the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet but P3 isn't a bad place to start. We are going to find what we need for those last bits of speed and be ready for what is going to be a really competitive qualifying session tomorrow."

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AUTO CLUB TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 5TH IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "The Auto Club Chevrolet was really good today, we actually had a faster lap than we showed but that got taken away. We are happy with the gains we made between the sessions and the car should be fast all weekend. I am excited to see what we can do in qualifying tomorrow."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 9TH IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: Strong first day, I think for the whole team. We had a quick car in practice one and, I think, we had a quick car in practice two – we didn't get to put the laps together because of all the red flags. It's unfortunate, you know, we're not getting as much track time as we'd like. There are things we want to test and things we want to try, and just haven't been able to get to them. When you look at race at Barber and this week again here… there's just no enough track time to really go through it. It's tough. It makes it difficult for everyone, but it's the same for everyone. We're doing a pretty good job as a team and hopefully we can do it tomorrow when it counts in qualifying and get the Go Daddy car up front.

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 11TH IN PRACTICE: ON INCIDENT DURING PRACTICE: "Justin had an incident and was stuck into the wall and there was no yellow flag so I think I was the second car behind him and saw him too late and ran into him. It was a bit unfortunate because I think we were pretty quick and had a few things to try today and we are going to have to try and cram everything in tomorrow, but I think we are looking good."

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET,

CHEVROLET, 17TH IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "The RC Cola car felt pretty good today. There is still a lot of speed out there for us to find, and I am feeling optimistic thinking about our potential heading into tomorrows practice. Today we tried a lot of different things, but set ups are always a tricky thing to figure out. It's great that the track is pretty similar to a year ago, so we can definitely put something together that will keep us competitive this weekend."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 18TH IN PRACTICE:

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, 19TH IN PRACTICE:

TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SH RACING CHEVROLET, 20TH IN PRACTICE:

A.J. ALLMENDINGER, NO. 2 PENSKE AUTOMOTIVE CHEVROLET, 21ST IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "We were a little off in the first session but luckily the No. 2 Penske Automotive Chevrolet made some gains in the second practice. After seven years away there are definitely some differences from what I remember, especially with how rough the track was. All in all a tough day but a productive day and we are ready for a good qualifying session tomorrow."

E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, 22ND IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "First testing day was a little bit tough for us. There's been plenty of red flags due to accidents, and the mileage has been pretty limited. Anyways, we are still working on the setup – still need to find the right one for us. We are going to have a good sit-down with the guys (tonight) and just analyze our data and make a wise decision for tomorrow."

ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER DRYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET, 25th IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "I think that was the strangest session since I've been racing! I didn't get one - not one - clean lap without running into a yellow or a car crashing in front of me. We just have to keep improving the car and see what we have tomorrow."

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 26TH IN PRACTICE:

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY'S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 27TH IN PRACTICE: ON PRACTICE: "It was an interesting day for us. In the first session, we just weren't very good. We had understeer a lot of places. We didn't unload the car where we needed to be. In the second practice, we were a lot better with Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy. I was disjointed session and very hard to string laps together with the many red flags. The car was much better but I'm still trying to figure it out for much of the session. The time sheet doesn't really look good but I feel much better about the car going into Saturday's runs. We still have gotten more laps today than we didn't last year on Friday. With the rain last year, Friday was a complete washout."

 
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