Practice Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. Sept. 16, 2016—The first day of practice at the last race of the season for the ABC Supply team was held during a cool morning and a much warmer afternoon today at Sonoma Raceway, about an hour north of San Francisco.

Both cars got in quite a bit of lap time during the two 75-minute sessions. The results are not quite where they need to be but the drivers believe they have acquired the data they need to improve their cars for qualifying tomorrow afternoon which is forecast to be warmer than today.

Jack Hawksworth ran a total of 31 laps between the two sessions and ended up 15th overall in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda with his best lap time of 1 minute, 17.4910 seconds (110.800mph) coming in the afternoon. He said, “It’s been an interesting day. We got through a few bits and bobs. The track changes here a lot. We’ve got to try and help the back of the car as it’s a little bit loose right now. We’ve got some work to do tonight but I think we’ll be alright for tomorrow.”

Takuma Sato, driving the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, was a couple spots behind in 17th with his best time of 1 minute, 17.7193 seconds (110.474mph) coming in the morning session. Sato, who ran a total of 44 laps, said, “I thought it was good test day despite the lap times. The conditions seem to be quite a bit different from the test. The wind direction is very different which affected the balance a lot.  I think our initial set up or foundation is pretty good and we just need to get more grip out of the car and get the balance right. Today the balance shift through the lap and from new tires to used tires is quite a bit different so we’re still learning a lot. We collected good data so hopefully we can put it all together for a good qualifying run tomorrow.”

Helio Castroneves paced the field in both sessions with his best time of 1 minute, 16.6678 seconds (111.990mph) coming in the afternoon.

The teams will have one more 45 minute session tomorrow morning before qualifying begins tomorrow afternoon. The qualifying session will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network starting at 6 p.m. ET.