Since it’s been seven years since AJ Allmendinger was last in an open-wheel cockpit, you could forgive him if he’s a bit rusty. Still, Allmendinger did well to end his two-day test at Barber Motorsports Park with Team Penske just slightly over one second behind erstwhile dominant teammate Will Power.
Power led all four sessions held, while Allmendinger clocked in in mid-pack. He praised the competitive nature of this year’s field in a handful of tweets after the day’s work.
“Two days of testing done with. Solid days but def have a lot of work ahead. Loving the challenge and ready to work my ass off to get better,” he tweeted. “Can’t say enough how much talent and depth the @IndyCar series field has. Love it. Everyone needs to watch this year. Will be great racing.”
Allmendinger heads back to NASCAR this weekend, for his second Sprint Cup Series start this year aboard Phoenix Racing’s No. 51 GUY Roofing Chevrolet.
Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test
The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.
Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.
Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.
The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.