Honda IndyCar pre-season test report

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Verizon IndyCar Series Test in the West

Circuit:  Phoenix International Raceway (1.022-mile oval), Avondale, AZ

Weather: Clear, 84-degrees in the afternoon session, 72-degrees for night sessions

Andretti Leads the Way for Honda in Final Pre-Season Practice

  • Two-day open test concludes with Honda drivers second through sixth
  • Marco Andretti leads Honda contingent in “The Test in the West”
  • 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series opens March 13 in St. Petersburg, Florida

Honda drivers claimed five of the top six positions on the leader board in the final practice session as the two-day Verizon IndyCar Series “Test in the West” came to a close Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway. Marco Andretti posted the second-fastest speed in the fourth and final three-hour practice session, with his Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, third.

Takuma Sato was fourth in the session for A.J. Foyt Racing, while teammate Jack Hawksworth escaped injury after contacting the Turn Two wall late in the session. Carlos Munoz rounded out the top five in his Andretti Autosport Honda, with Luca Filippi sixth in his debut with Dale Coyne Racing. Coyne’s second driver, rookie Conor Daly, rounded out the top eight. Graham Rahal ran fifth fastest in the opening practice on Friday, and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports duo of James Hinchcliffe and Gabby Chaves also posted competitive speeds, with Hinchcliffe running seventh Friday night and Chaves filling in for Mikhail Aleshin, who was unable to attend the test due to travel issues.

This week’s test marked the public debut of the twin-turbocharged Honda HI16RTT V6 Indy engine and updated manufacturer-specific bodywork to be used in 2016. The Verizon IndyCar Series opens on March 13 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida. Live television coverage of the first round of the 16-race season starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT, March 13, on ABC.

Allen Miller (Race Team Leader, Honda Performance Development) on this week’s open test:  “It was a very productive test for Honda. This was our first time going head-to-head with the competition, with both of us using updated engines and aerodynamic packages for the new season. We’ve learned quite a bit throughout the two days. We have new systems and new tools in place for 2016, and we’re pretty satisfied with the results, given the recent [aerodynamic] rule changes that we experienced for the first time this week. Although this was the only ‘open’ test prior to the start of the season, all of our teams will continue to test next week in Sebring [Florida], prior to the season-opener in St. Petersburg in two weeks time. We’re looking forward to an exciting season in 2016.”

Ps. Driver Team Manufacturer Best Time
1. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 19.894 sec. 190.894 mph
2. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 19.3351sec. 190.286 mph
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 19.3986 sec. 189.663 mph
4. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 19.4998 sec. 188.697 mph
5. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 19.5485 sec. 188.209 mph
6. Luca Filippi Dale Coyne Racing Honda 19.6833 sec. 186.920 mph
7. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 19.7424 sec. 186.360 mph
8. Conor Daly-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 19.7490 sec. 186.298 mph
9. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 19.7664 sec. 186.134 mph
10. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet 19.8555 sec. 185.299 mph
Other Honda-powered Results:
12. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 19.8601 sec. 185.256 mph
15. Gabby Chaves Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 19.9071 sec. 184.818 mph
19. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 20.0151 sec. 183.821 mph
21. Jack Hawksworth A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 20.1457 sec. 182.630 mph