AJ Foyt Racing Testing Report: Barber Motorsports Park
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. March 17, 2015—The ABC Supply team came away from their first three days of testing with the new aero kit satisfied in the direction they are taking after leaving Barber Motorsports Park.
Twenty-one drivers who tested at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course just outside of Birmingham, Ala. eclipsed last year’s pole speed set by Will Power by a full second.
Takuma Sato was the second quickest Honda driver (behind fifth place Graham Rahal who popped ahead on the charts in the final 20 minutes), while Jack Hawksworth was the sixth quickest Honda driver.
Sato ran a total of 107 laps over the two days in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, and today posted his best speed of 122.378mph for seventh quickest of drivers who took the track today. In the two-day combined speeds chart, he ranked tenth.
“It was a very productive day,” Sato said. “The last two days we collected an enormous amount of data, and this afternoon particularly, everything came together and we had a better understanding of the whole picture. This aero configuration is very tricky and very sensitive. I think the whole engineering team worked really hard collecting double the data compared to last year. Having two cars helped us lot to move forward. Being in the top 10 at the first Open Test is obviously encouraging for all of us. We need to really analyze everything and bring a strong package to the first race.”
Jack Hawksworth ran 129 laps over the two days. In the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, he was 15th quickest in today’s practice and was 17th quick overall with his speed of 121.841 mph.
“We got a lot of testing in today and we learned some stuff so I think we’ve got a good baseline now,” Hawksworth said. “I look forward to testing in Sebring next week and hopefully we’ll be very competitive in St. Pete.”
The team heads to Texas for a brief sojourn before heading out to the two-day test in Sebring, Fla. March 23-24. They will stay in Florida for the season opener in St. Petersburg March 27-29.
“I’m really happy with what we learned,” said Larry Foyt, team president. “The engineers and drivers did a great job because there was so much information we needed to learn about this new aero kit — it’s really changed a lot of things. These past two days we were really running with it. We had one day at New Orleans last Saturday but that was more of a systems check and shakedown test. Here at Barber we did a lot of running, got a ton of information and I think we found a great direction. We ended up gaining all the time; we still have some to go but it was a great start.
“Having two cars really helped,” Foyt continued. “With so many questions needing answers, we were able to use both cars to check off the items on each team’s list. That’s exactly what we wanted to do with a two-car operation, and here we got to see how it really works. It definitely was a benefit at this test.”
There were 23 cars at the test with current Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power’s speed of 122.849mph being the fastest Chevy today and overall. Chevy claimed four of the top-five spots.