RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING FOURTH IN FIRST DAY OF INDYCAR ROAD COURSE TESTING SEBRING, Florida - The top race teams in the world know that more work is done off the track than is done on it, and the quest for speed is sometimes just starting when...
RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING FOURTH IN FIRST DAY OF INDYCAR ROAD COURSE TESTING
SEBRING, Florida - The top race teams in the world know that more work is done off the track than is done on it, and the quest for speed is sometimes just starting when the engines shut down for the day.
Today, Rahal Letterman Racing showed that it had done its homework before the first day of the IndyCar Series open test session at Sebring International Raceway, then used the lessons learned to give two-time racewinner Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) a leg up in today's session.
The team developed some new pieces for the car through the hard work in the Hilliard, Ohio shop, then tested them in the wind tunnel last week before bringing them to the track. Some of that development was present in the first of two days of Sebring testing, where Hunter-Reay finished in the top half of the nine-car field after carding a best time of 54.1880 seconds (110.947 mph).
"We're not tuning our car to the Sebring track like some of these teams are, but yet we've still come out and put up a pretty good time, which shows us that things are going well," Hunter-Reay said. "We're being disciplined in our approach and working on things specific to St. Pete and those should pay off for us there."
The first day of the test didn't get underway until 1 p.m., with the team working on longer runs and fuller fuel loads. Hunter-Reay turned his best time of the day to that point on the very last of his 33 orbits around the Sebring short course before coming off so the team could make some changes. Upon his return, Hunter-Reay snapped off a number of quick laps including the one that would jump him ahead of Homestead testing leader Danica Patrick, who was fifth today.
"It was a good day, we chunked through most of our test program, worked on some macro changes on the first day and will go from there," said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. "It's our first day with the new paddle shifters and it seemed to work pretty well. We got through what we needed to do, and it leaves us plenty of room to build on it tomorrow."
The field of returning IndyCar teams were spilt in half for the Sebring testing, with RLR joined by cars from Andretti/Green, Vision and Roth Racing.