IndyCar: Tuesday NOLA testing notes

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Here’s a handful of other notes from Verizon IndyCar Series testing at New Orleans’ NOLA Motorsports Park after the first of two days testing.

ANOTHER NEW LIVERY

With new recruit Simon Pagenaud adorned in a white and black livery for his No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet, Juan Pablo Montoya has seen his colors shift too, at least for this test.

Montoya, who ran a primarily red and white Verizon scheme for most of 2014 for his No. 2 Chevrolet with occasional blue, white and black outings for PPG, was in the yellow, white and blue colors of Penske Logistics for this test (see right).

Exact commercial lineups for Montoya and Pagenaud’s cars, for the full season, have yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile the fourth member of the quartet beyond the No. 2, 22 and defending champion Will Power, Helio Castroneves was another one who praised the NOLA circuit.

“Fast… fun… technical. Really a great experience,” he said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Castroneves raced on both the Cleveland and Edmonton airport road courses from 1998 to 2001 (Cleveland) and 2008 to 2012 (Edmonton).

For all four Team Penske drivers, it marked their first IndyCar test of the offseason.

KVSH DRIVER BOURDAIS SHAKES THE COBWEBS OFF, TOO

Besides the Penske quartet, Sebastien Bourdais was also back in an IndyCar for the first time since Auto Club Speedway last September. The Frenchman is again in the No. 11 Hydroxycut/Mistic KVSH Racing Chevrolet.

While Bourdais and Pagenaud at least had the Rolex 24 at Daytona to race last month, for Power, Montoya and Castroneves, it’s been a much longer time period out of the cockpit.

COLETTI AT KV, JAKES AT SPM

As written a couple days ago, both Stefano Coletti and James Jakes were en route to New Orleans and indeed both are testing this week. Coletti completed his second day of IndyCar testing overall, and first with KV Racing Technology in the renumbered No. 4 Chevrolet.

“I want to race here this year. I don’t know for which team it’s going to be but I’m trying to find a job somewhere,” Coletti told IndyCar.com.

Jakes, a three-year IndyCar veteran from 2011 to 2013, made his series return as the latest driver to sample the vacant No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, which was always the likely option for him test here even though the team didn’t announce it.

“It wasn’t a case of deciding to come back. I always wanted to be there,” Jakes told IndyCar.com.

Neither driver has his program set but as with any driver still seeking a ride at this juncture, if the funding is there, a ride could well be.