Will Power Tops Charts at IZOD IndyCar® Series Test at Infineon Raceway
Will Power led the field on Thursday as 20 IZOD IndyCar® Series drivers completed a full day of testing at Infineon Raceway in advance of the Indy® Grand Prix of Sonoma, Aug. 26-28.
Team Penske’s Power posted a time of 1 minute, 19.04 seconds over the 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course, which was attended by more than 200 race fans. He was followed by 2007 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma champion Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing, 1:19.49) and teammate Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing, 1:19.60).
Power will look to become the first repeat INDYCAR winner in Sonoma. The series has featured six different winners (Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Franchitti and Power) since 2005.
“We are trying to find our pace,” said Power. “We’ve been struggling on road courses of late but this track is pretty consistent and that will help us. I always enjoy coming out here.”
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:19.77) and E.J. Viso (KV Racing Technology-Lotus, 1:19.79) rounded out the top five times of the day.
Sausalito’s JR Hildebrand also participated in the one-day test session (1:20.58, Panther Racing). Hildebrand got his start at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, which is based at Infineon Raceway.
“It feels so great to be back in the Bay Area. I don’t get to come back here much anymore, so to be at my home track, in my hometown and to get to sleep in my own bed is amazing,” said Hildebrand, a graduate of nearby Redwood High School in Larkspur.
The drivers return to the Sonoma Valley road course for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Aug. 26-28. The weekend will also feature the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge, Star Mazda Series, Historic Grand Prix and Formula Car Championship. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit www.infineonraceway.com/indycar.
Additional driver quotes from the Infineon Raceway test session:
WILL POWER: On his rivalry with Dario Franchitti, “The best thing he (Franchitti) ever did was take me out; it's been great for the series. Fans like passion and now that there is a bit of a rivalry between Dario and myself when we get together and race, fans like that. They want to watch. It is very good for the series.”
On the last-lap incident at Loudon, N.H., “The question I have is why were we so desperate to go green? There was no excuse for what I did; it was out of frustration, but I begged them not to go green. Brian Barnhart usually thinks of driver safety so I’m not sure what happened there….I do know it’s not all on Brian though.”
DARIO FRANCHITTI: On the test session, “We’re just trying to use the things we’ve learned at other (circuits) and tailor them to this track for the race next weekend.”
MARCO ANDRETTI: On his first INYDCAR win coming in Sonoma in 2006, “The place is special to me. I’ve been quick here in a lot of different formulas and I’ve led a lot of laps around this track. It’s also where I had my first win in INDYCAR so it will always be special.”
JR HILDEBRAND (Sausalito native): On his season thus far, “I’m still learning and figuring things out but, all in all, it’s been a real strong season in my rookie year. I will continue to figure things out and get better.”
On the points battle, “At this point, it’s so close in the standings that you have be as aggressive as you can be and get as many points as you can in each and every race. It’s that tight right now.”