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VeeKay leads 21-car IndyCar test at Barber

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VeeKay leads 21-car IndyCar test at Barber
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Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rookie of the Year Rinus VeeKay topped the times at Barber Motorsports Park, just over one-tenth clear of Colton Herta.

VeeKay lapped the lush, undulating 2.38-mile course in Birmingham, AL, in 65.6148sec to edge Colton Herta’s Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport by 0.1236sec.

In a test where the top 15 cars unofficially broke the qualifying lap record of 66.6001sec held by Sebastien Bourdais since 2016, Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward was third fastest on a 65.9, one tenth faster than Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport and Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing.

In his first test for Chip Ganassi Racing, 2020 rookie Alex Palou was 11th, just a tenth slower than the team’s pacesetter on the day, Marcus Ericsson, while the driver he replaced Felix Rosenqvist, turned a 66.5, around 0.6sec off Arrow McLaren SP teammate O’Ward.

Reigning Formula E champion and two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Antonio Felix da Costa, got his first taste of IndyCar, as sole representative for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The Portuguese 29-year-old performed well, turning more laps (75) than anyone bar Ericsson and NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson, and with 12th fastest time, he shaded all four Team Penske-Chevrolet drivers.

Scott McLaughlin was 1.3sec off the ultimate pace, but only 0.5sec slower than Penske pacesetter on the day, Josef Newgarden, suggesting the squad was running a different program.

Johnson turned 100 laps and got within 2.8sec of fastest time, and only 1.3sec from next slowest.

Several teams will reconvene at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Nov. 10 for the final team test of the year.

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM ENGINE FAST LAP DIFF LAPS
1 21 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy 1:05.6148 -.—- 65
2 88 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport Honda 1:05.7384 0.1236 74
3 5 Pato O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Chevy 1:05.9059 0.2911 66
4 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:06.0179 0.4031 56
5 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 1:06.0993 0.4845 45
6 20 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy 1:06.1341 0.5193 62
7 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:06.1901 0.5753 54
8 8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:06.2568 0.6420 86
9 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:06.2579 0.6431 61
10 14 Sebastien Bourdais AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevy 1:06.3578 0.7430 61
11 10 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:06.3646 0.7498 74
12 15 Antonio Felix da Costa Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 1:06.3754 0.7606 75
13 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevy 1:06.4103 0.7955 59
14 26 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda 1:06.4412 0.8264 64
15 7 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Chevy 1:06.5011 0.8863 53
16 12 Will Power Team Penske Chevy 1:06.6195 1.0047 62
17 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevy 1:06.6347 1.0199 61
18 4 Dalton Kellett AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevy 1:06.6471 1.0323 70
19 3 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Chevy 1:06.9409 1.3261 73
20 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda 1:07.0890 1.4742 64
21 48 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:08.3984 2.7836 100

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Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez