Drivers test for the IndyCar Gran Prix of Sonoma…

A dozen different drivers took to the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course for a private test day prior to the INDYCAR Grand Prix Of Sonoma.

Scott Dixon in The Carousel at Sonoma Raceway during a Verizon IndyCar Series test. (Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR – Chris Jones)

They included the four Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and Zach Veach), three Dale Coyne Racing/Dale Coyne Racing With Vasser-Sullivan (Sebastien Bourdais, Pietro Fittipaldi and Santino Ferrucci), two Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon and Ed Jones), two Carlin (Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball) and one Harding Racing (Colton Herta).

The drivers were on track from 9:30 AM through noon when they took a one hour break before heading back out under the sunny California skies for four hours to end the day.

Times were not published, but a friend shared the top five times. They are very close, but still a solid start to the weekend for the championship leader.

  1. Scott Dixon –  78.64
  2. Marco Andretti –  78.65
  3. Alexander Rossi – 78.78
  4. Ryan Hunter-Reay –  78.83
  5. Sebastien Bourdais –  78.87

There were a few red flags for debris and tow-ins sprinkled throughout the day. And, there was one incident that involved contact.

Colton Herta, who was driving the car that Patricio O’Ward will handle the rest of the weekend made contact in Turn 2. The car suffered front wing and left front suspension damage. The Harding Racing crew, which this weekend is a mix of Harding Racing and Andretti Autosport Indy Lights crews were making repairs when walked down that way. We’ll have more on that crew tomorrow.

The second generation driver told David Malsher from Motorsport.com

“It was good to get back in the car, good to get a few laps in before practice tomorrow.

“I wasn’t too happy with the car in the race runs earlier in the day but I think we sorted it out. We have a little bit to find in terms of qualifying pace, but when we were supposed to work on qualifying pace [in the final hour of the test], I threw it off the track.

“So I didn’t get to run the rest of the day, unfortunately. We’d just put on new tires, but I had a little bit of a snap going into Turn 2, I rolled in a little too much speed and touched the wall. It was just enough to knock some of the [front-left] wishbones out of place. Luckily there’s no big damage so we shouldn’t have a problem tomorrow.”

Colton Herta gets buckled in for a Verizon IndyCar Series test at Sonoma Raceway (Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR – Chris Jones)

Josef Newgarden, Patricio O’Ward, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato all tested at Sonoma Raceway last week, leaving Matheus Leist, James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, Tony Kanaan, Jordan King, Spencer Pigot, and Jack Harvey as the only drivers who have not test in California Wine County in the last week.