All around, it seemed a pretty productive, hassle-free day as seven Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires drivers got their biggest taste of an IndyCar at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday. They banked laps and didn’t make mistakes.
Here’s a quick roundup of social posts from the drivers on hand at the track, as well as a handful of additional quotes:
SPENCER PIGOT, No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
Pigot went into Will Power’s usual chassis for his first ever day of running in an IndyCar. Pigot, the Rising Star Racing-backed driver who is one of the poster children for the Mazda Road to Indy having been involved since 2011 and having won multiple Mazda scholarships, seems a natural to move up to IndyCar in the very near future.
“After a few laps I was able to start pushing more and more. I was able to get comfortable fairly quickly,” Pigot said, via IndyCar.com. “We went through a lot of video and data beforehand, and I talked to Will a lot. Team Penske has helped me a lot to get up to speed quickly.”
NELSON PIQUET JR., No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
Piquet – apart from having a similar name to Pigot – added IndyCar to his repertoire along with FIA Formula E, Red Bull Global Rallycross and Indy Lights this year. The Brazilian, also a past Formula 1 and NASCAR veteran, took the reins of Juan Pablo Montoya’s usual car, and then left to go East to Washington, D.C. for his GRC commitments.
JACK HARVEY, No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda
Harvey returned to the track where he won both Indy Lights races a year ago and impressed in his running.
“I loved every minute of it,” he said, via IndyCar.com. “In Indy lights last year I won both races (at Sonoma), so I was really excited when I knew this track was going to be my first test. I’m pretty happy with what we’ve achieved.”
RYAN PHINNY, No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet
Phinny was in Sebastien Bourdais’ car with Stefano Coletti’s nose assembly. It marked the Californian’s second test, after also testing for the KV Racing Technology team this winter.
ED JONES, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake RLL Honda
Jones took the reins of Graham Rahal’s backup car, numbered 15T, for his maiden IndyCar voyage. The Dubai-based driver, born in England who now lives part-time in Florida, had a solid day’s work.
MATTHEW BRABHAM, No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda
More here from my MotorSportsTalk colleague Luke Smith, but “Matty Brabs'” enjoyed his second day in an IndyCar Thursday after his first at Iowa Speedway last month. Again, he was in Justin Wilson’s usual car.
SEAN RAYHALL, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Rayhall drew praise from Chip Ganassi, the team’s managing director Mike Hull and a number of people in the sports car world after his first test. The 20-year-old Georgian moved from one orange car to another, shifting from his 8Star Motorsports Indy Lights car into Charlie Kimball’s Novo Nordisk Chevrolet entry.