IndyCar teams to test over next month, mainly at Sebring (UPDATED)

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The long, five-month offseason is underway for IndyCar, but there is still some testing to look forward to over the next month before the end of the calendar year.

Seven teams: KV Racing Technology, Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Autosport, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing, began testing on Wednesday and will continue through December 19. INDYCAR also outlined updated testing rules for 2014 on Wednesday.

Most will be at Sebring, while Penske will make trips to Barber Motorsports Park (Nov. 25-26), Auto Club Speedway (Dec. 9) and intriguingly, Phoenix International Raceway (Dec. 11).

Phoenix won’t be on the IndyCar schedule anytime soon but Penske will utilize a one-day test to enhance its short oval setup. Only two teams – Panther Racing (former driver JR Hildebrand) and Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti) – have conducted tests at PIR with the Dallara DW12 chassis since it was introduced in 2012.

Penske’s new IndyCar recruit, Juan Pablo Montoya, is not scheduled for any of those tests at the moment. Per the Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer, Montoya is under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing through end of day Monday, November 18, after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Ganassi will run its new Chevrolets for the first time on Dec. 4, and Tony Kanaan will have his first outing for the team. Additionally, Alex Tagliani is still listed at CGR while Dario Franchitti continues his recovery from his Houston injuries.

Also of note, Simon Pagenaud is listed as testing for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, rather than the Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports nomenclature he has run under the last two years. Carlos Munoz will test for Andretti Autosport when the team runs its new Hondas for the first time.

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. ET: A.J. Foyt Racing and Team Penske have been removed from testing at Sebring on Nov. 18. Dale Coyne Racing has been added with Arie Luyendyk Jr. Luyendyk Jr. has raced in Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks series this year. The all-time Indy Lights starts leader has one career IndyCar start, the 2006 Indianapolis 500 with a family-run team.

Here’s the breakdown of scheduled tests, per INDYCAR:

  • Nov. 13-14: KV Racing Technology (Sebastien Bourdais, Mikael Grenier), Sebring
  • Nov. 18: Honda manufacturer test for Andretti Autosport (James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz), Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Simon Pagenaud), Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Graham Rahal), Dale Coyne Racing (Arie Luyendyk Jr.), Sebring
  • Nov. 19: SPM (Pagenaud), Sebring
  • Nov. 25-26: Penske (Castroneves, Power), Barber
  • Dec. 4: Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon, Alex Tagliani, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball), Sebring
  • Dec. 9: Penske (Castroneves, Power), Fontana
  • Dec. 11: Penske (Castroneves, Power), Phoenix
  • Dec. 18-19: SPM (Pagenaud), Sebring

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 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. 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.