Rahal upbeat after first Honda IndyCar test of 2016


Graham Rahal relished the opportunity to get back behind the wheel on Wednesday as he joined the three Andretti Autosport drivers at Sebring for the first IndyCar test of 2016.

As part of the allocated test running between now and the beginning of the new season in St. Petersburg on March 13, Rahal took to the track for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team to evaluate part of the new Honda aero package among other updates.

Writing in his debrief column for the Verizon IndyCar Series website, Rahal said that although he felt positive about what had been achieved at Sebring, there was still plenty of work to be done ahead of the new season.

“It was good to get back in the car at Sebring on Wednesday. I thought it was a very positive day, a day with a lot of learning,” Rahal said.

“When we get the new aero kit, just as we did last year, there’s so much to be found and understood and a lot of development to go. Really, today was that sort of day for us. There definitely is a lot of work to be done.

“As far as comparing the first test of 2016 to the first test last year and the new aero package, I’d say for us it was similar. But again, these are early days for us and the development of it, and we didn’t really have the full 2016 kit.

“Our car was good, but there were little parts and pieces that we didn’t have yet. Also, with the way the engines are changing, both from a Chevy and Honda perspective for this year, there’s still a lot to be added to the equation.

“But we had a good start overall. I think we feel positive about where we are and our goal is obviously to keep up the competitiveness and the form of the team that we had last year.”

Rahal enjoyed his strongest IndyCar season to date in 2015, scoring two race wins and remaining in contention for the championship until the final round of the year at Sonoma before ultimately finishing fourth in the standings.