Thirteen IndyCar Drivers Complete One-Day Honda Test at Sonoma Raceway
SONOMA, Calif. (April 4, 2017) - Thirteen drivers from five Verizon IndyCar® Series teams completed a one-day Honda test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday.
This marked the largest IndyCar test of the year so far at Sonoma Raceway, which will host the 2017 series season finale for the third consecutive year at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17.
Participating Honda teams and drivers were Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton, Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastian Bourdais and Ed Jones Jr., Schmidt Peterson Motorsport' James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin, as well as Graham Rahal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
"With the cooler temperatures, there's a lot of downforce in the car and a lot of grip," said Hunter-Reay, who has posted three top-five finishes in his last three Sonoma starts. "It's a bit different than when we're here at the end of the season, when the track temps are hotter and we're sliding around a bit more. It's great to get back in the car here. It's a very demanding track and there's a small window to get it all right. We're trying to tweak the settings a bit to make that window a bit bigger."
The test provided the first turns in Honda-powered cars for the Chip Ganassi Racing drivers at Sonoma Raceway since 2013. Ganassi returned to Honda engines for the 2017 season after three years with Chevrolet.
"The aero package is one thing, which is vastly different in the way that it works and how efficient it is from one manufacturer to the other, and the (Honda) engine is another added difference, but for me, personally, the engine has been very good drive-ability wise and has good power, and it's very adjustable, too," said Dixon, a three-time Sonoma winner.
In addition to the on-track action, Sonoma Raceway hosted Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) for an on-site blood drive. Race fans turned out to support the cause, collecting 20 pints of blood, which is enough to save up to 60 lives.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Sonoma, Sept. 15-17, for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma championship weekend. For tickets or more information, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit SonomaRaceway.com/indycar.