The second day of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires testing is in the books from Palm Beach International Raceway. Times improved and the eight drivers raved about the conditions, and the new Dallara IL15 chassis partnered with the Mazda MZR-R engine.
As was the case on Tuesday, the top seven were separated by less than a second. Californian Kyle Kaiser, driving for series returnees Juncos Racing, led the field with a test-best 1:05.2689.
Pro Mazda sparring partners Scott Hargrove (8Star Motorsports) and Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing) were next up. The top seven were covered by 0.7993 of a second.
Reactions were positive pretty much across the board.
“The car is super-fast. I really enjoy driving it,” Kaiser said. “I started off just getting acclimated and finding the limits of the car. The faster and faster I go, I find the more I can push the car. I just really enjoy driving it. Everything is faster. You have more brakes, more grip, more downforce – everything is just improved.
“The tires have been handling great. On the new tires, we have been finding almost over a second. They have a lot more grip and are pretty consistent.”
Added Hargrove, the Tuesday time leader, “It seems like every time I go on the brakes, I go a bit later and it’s kind of getting serious at this point. The PFC brakes are just so good. If you lock up a little bit, you are just really pedaling it and instantly the wheels start spinning again so it is super controllable.
“The 2015 tires are really, really good. I am looking forward to the year on Coopers. The tires are more consistent, they last longer in a run and the construction of the tire suits this car better so hats off to those guys for making the right tire for the right car.”
Perhaps the most crucial piece of analysis came from Jack Harvey, confirmed earlier this month to return for a second season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and thus far the only confirmed returnee to the series and driver with a year’s worth of experience in the old car.
“My first impression of the car was a pretty good one,” he said. “I think Dallara did a nice job of developing what I think was already a good car in the old Indy Lights. The new car in every way is a big step forward.”
As you’d expect, one would hope.
Here are the times from Wednesday’s test. Additionally, two videos captured on site are linked below, via Road To Indy TV and originally posted by Bart Ewer (the capture of five cars at one corner) and Ethan Ringel, one of SPM’s three confirmed drivers.