Testing regulations announced for 2014 IndyCar season

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In the 2014 IndyCar Series championship, teams will have a total of 18 testing days plus the opportunity to earn two bonus days if they test a current Indy Lights driver.

This morning’s announcement from INDYCAR also states that teams can earn two additional days for testing rookie drivers and that all new entrants will get four additional off-season team test days to go along with their original, 18-day allotment.

That 18-day period can be used by all full-season teams in any combination of engine manufacturer tests, team tests, Open Tests, straight-line tests and wind tunnel tests through the 2014 season finale at Auto Club Speedway.

“Our objective was to structure the testing rules so that everybody had equal opportunity and an equal number of days,” INDYCAR president of competition Derrick Walker said in a statement.

“Rather than INDYCAR designating specific numbers for each category of testing, the onus is on teams to utilize days as they feel is best for their individual program.”

Three Open Test sessions will take place next year at Barber Motorsports Park on March 17-18 (the “spring training” sessions), the re-configured Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on April 30, and Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 27.

The latter two Open Tests will be held shortly before the tracks’ respective races – the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 and the season-ending MAV TV 500 on Aug. 30.

Engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda will have five on-track test days.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.