(Photo Courtesy of INDYCAR – Chris Owens)
By Steve Wittich .. Trackside Online
A total of 17 NTT INDYCAR SERIES took to the high-banked Texas Motor Speedway to take part in a test in preparation for the Genesys 300 and XPEL 375 doubleheader in a month’s time.
For the third time during off-season private testing, it was the Pato O’Ward and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet that ended the day at the head of the class. The 2018 Indy Lights champion was also the quickest in a pair of February tests at Sebring International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Mexican driver was the third quickest driver during a November test at Barber Motorsports Park.
O’Ward’s unofficial quick lap was clocked at over 222mph, eclipsing Scott Dixon’s fastest lap during the 2020 event by over six mph.
The 17 drivers completed a total of 3,179, primarily trouble-free miles.
When we checked in with some people on the ground at Texas Motor Speedway, we were told it was a reasonably clean test. The only contact came late when A.J. Foyt Racing veteran Sebastien Bourdais made light contact in Turn 2. From a source, it left marks on the wall, and the car had to be brought back to the team “on the hook.”
This is where we insert our usual corollary that testing times don’t matter. Teams will have different drivers working on different programs, so don’t read too much into the times.
Unofficial timing results from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES test at Texas Motor Speedway on March 31, 2021.
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||ENGINE||FAST LAP||MPH*||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet||23.325||222.25||146|
|2||27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||23.473||220.85||178|
|3||60||Jack Harvey||Meyer-Shank Racing||Honda||23.505||220.55||205|
|4||22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevrolet||23.515||220.46||224|
|5||12||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||23.520||220.41||247|
|6||7||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet||23.556||220.07||136|
|7||26||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||Honda||23.604||219.62||197|
|8||21||Rinus VeeKay||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||23.608||219.59||208|
|9||2||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet||23.680||218.92||219|
|10||14||Sebastien Bourdais||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||23.700||218.73||166|
|11||20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||23.707||218.67||162|
|12||3||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||Chevrolet||23.762||218.16||233|
|13||30||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||23.800||217.815||184|
|14||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||23.807||217.75||167|
|15||29||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||Honda||23.838||217.47||160|
|16||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||23.895||216.95||207|
|17||4||Dalton Kellett||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||23.922||216.70||140|
Speed in MPH was calculated using a track length of 1.44 miles.
Dale Coyne Racing drivers Ed Jones and Pietro Fittipaldi will take to the same 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval tomorrow.
A sizeable open test with 25+ cars will occur at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 8 and 9.
While it hasn’t been officially announced yet, we do expect some video and audio coverage will be available.