Here’s what we know after handful of IndyCar teams test at Sonoma Tuesday


Official bits of information were limited from an IZOD IndyCar Series’ manufacturer/team test at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday, but eight teams were on hand and there a few noteworthy items:

  • Two drivers, Lucas Luhr and Ryo Hirakawa, made their testing debuts. Luhr’s been confirmed to race on August 25 in the No. 97 RW/SFHR Honda as a teammate to Josef Newgarden and with some Muscle Milk Pickett Racing support. Hirakawa, the 19-year-old 2012 Japanese Formula 3 champion, was the latest through the revolving door of Dale Coyne’s second car. Hirakawa impressed and tweeted late in the day, “Finally I finished the first IRL test without any trouble with the 0.7 sec off the pace.” I’m impressed by his pace – the next step for him is calling it INDYCAR and not IRL…
  • Ryan Briscoe, 2012 Sonoma race winner, returned to action for Panther Racing for the first time since fracturing his wrist at race one of the Honda Indy Toronto in July, exactly one month ago. He’s missed two IndyCar (Carlos Munoz and Oriol Servia replaced him) and American Le Mans Series (Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud) races apiece in that stretch. Sonoma’s a physical track but it’s good to see INDYCAR clear the Australian for it. His most recent action was in the NBC Sports Network broadcast booth at Mid-Ohio.
  • The @IndyCarPR “very unofficial” fast 5 at the lunch break had Ryan Hunter-Reay leading at a 1:18.8. Unofficial times from those on site – RACER’s Marshall Pruett, Autosport’s Mark Glendenning and the @OnTheLimitBlog site – pegged laps in the 1:20 bracket.
  • Here’s your tweet roundup we found from the others at the track today, which included all four Andretti Autosport drivers (Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, E.J. Viso), Dragon Racing’s pair (Sebastian Saavedra, Sebastien Bourdais), owner/driver Ed Carpenter, Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal and James Jakes, and Dale Coyne’s Justin Wilson.