Takuma Sato has topped the timesheets on his maiden outing for the AJ Foyt Enterprises team at the IndyCar Series test session at Sebring on Tuesday.
The ex-Formula 1 driver joined the team after a year with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, and managed to out-pace Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) by 0.07 seconds, with Honda claiming a 1-2 on the timesheets as the field readies itself for the opening race of the 2013 championship season at St Petersburg next month.
Last year’s championship runner-up Will Power was the fastest Chevrolet-powered runner, taking his Team Penske entry third-quickest, edging out former champion Dario Franchitti.
Justin Wilson was fifth-quickest driving for Dale Coyne Racing, despite neither party having yet officially confirmed the Englishman’s future for the upcoming season.
Hot on his heels were Brazil’s IndyCar stalwarts Tony Kanaan (KV Racing) and Hélio Castroneves (Penske), who narrowly beat Graham Rahal – making his full-time debut for his father Graham’s team – on the timing screens.
Ninth-fastest was Rahal’s former Chip Ganassi team-mate Charlie Kimball, while Simona de Silvestro enjoyed her first outing in a decent-powered car to be tenth-fastest, less than half a second off Sato’s leading pace.
In the thirteen-driver field, Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Racing), AJ Allmendinger – making his return to open-wheel driving with Team Penske – and Oriol Servià (Panther / DRR) completed the runners.
2013 Sebring Pre-Season Test – Tuesday Session Times:
|1.||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda||51.947|
|2.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing Honda||+ 0.070|
|3.||Will Power||Team Penske Chevrolet||+ 0.206|
|4.||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing Honda||+ 0.375|
|5.||Justin Wilson||Dale Coyne Racing Honda||+ 0.380|
|6.||Tony Kanaan||KV Racing Technology Chevrolet||+ 0.434|
|7.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske Chevrolet||+ 0.463|
|8.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda||+ 0.446|
|9.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing Honda||+ 0.492|
|10.||Simona de Silvestro||KV Racing Technology Chevrolet||+ 0.495|
|11.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda||+ 0.551|
|12.||AJ Allmendinger||Team Penske Chevrolet||+ 0.671|
|13.||Oriol Servià||Panther / Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet||+ 0.743|