Bourdais tops IndyCar test at Sonoma

St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais put Dale Coyne Racing at the top of the timesheets in Honda’s 13-car test at Sonoma Raceway today.

Bourdais tops IndyCar test at Sonoma
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda, logo
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda

In the morning session, the 36-time winner set a 1min17.51sec lap, a mere 0.02sec ahead of his nearest pursuer, Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay. However, as times improved in the afternoon, Bourdais pulled a couple of tenths clear, to end the day on a 1min17.06, eclipsing Hunter-Reay’s teammate, Alexander Rossi.

“With the cooler temperatures, there’s a lot of downforce in the car and a lot of grip,” said Hunter-Reay, who has posted 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.”

A third Andretti car, that of Marco Andretti, was third fastest in both sessions, although his engine let go towards the close of the day’s activities, having chalked up 90 laps, while the team’s newest driver, Takuma Sato, was fourth in the morning, fifth in the afternoon.

Four-time champion, Chip Ganassi Racing’s, Scott Dixon turned only 16 laps in the morning, but during his 52 laps in the afternoon session, he threw in a 1min17.39sec lap to end the day fourth fastest. One of his teammates, Max Chilton was sixth fastest, quick enough to narrowly beat Schmidt Peterson Motorsports duo James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin.

Bourdais’ rookie teammate, Ed Jones, was confined to just 11 laps in the morning session due to a technical problem, but cut 33 laps, as well as his best lap time, to beat two Ganassi cars of Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan in the afternoon.

Morning times

  1.   Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing                    1min17.51sec
  2.   Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport                      1min17.53sec
  3.   Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport                           1min17.55sec
  4.   Takuma Sato, Andretti Autosport                               1min17.67sec
  5.   Alexander Rossi, Andretti-Herta Autosport              1min17.86sec
  6.   Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing    1min17.92sec
  7.   Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing                            1min17.94sec
  8.   Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi Racing                              1min18.03sec
  9.   Charlie Kimball, Chip Ganassi Racing                         1min18.10sec
  10.   Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing                               1min18.19sec
  11.   James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports  1min18.25sec
  12.   Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports      1min18.37sec
  13.   Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing                                         1min19.56sec  

Afternoon times

  1. Bourdais          1min17.06sec
  2. Rossi                 1min17.24sec
  3. Andretti            1min17.25sec
  4. Dixon                1min17.39sec
  5. Sato                  1min17.44sec
  6. Chilton             1min17.53sec
  7. Hinchcliffe       1min17.55sec
  8. Hunter-Reay   1min17.64sec
  9. Aleshin             1min17.64sec
  10. Rahal                1min17.69sec
  11. Jones                 1min17.73sec
  12. Kimball             1min17.89sec
  13. Kanaan             1min18.18sec

 

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