Sato fastest in first IndyCar test session at Phoenix
Reigning Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato put his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-Honda on top in the opening three-hour session in IndyCar’s open test at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway.
Sato, who has rejoined RLLR after four years at AJ Foyt Racing and one at Andretti Autosport, clocked a 187.022mph lap to narrowly eclipse last year’s Phoenix winner, Simon Pagenaud in the #22 Team Penske-Chevrolet who was just 0.0433sec slower, a 186.611mph lap.
AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet excelled again, following Matheus Leist’s P1 rookie performance yesterday. In this afternoon’s session, he and teammate Tony Kanaan were fourth and third respectively.
Sebastien Bourdais was fifth quickest in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan entry, ahead of Graham Rahal in the second RLLR machine.
Marco Andretti was fastest of the Andretti Autosport-Honda contingent, ahead of the top Chip Ganassi Racing entry, that of Scott Dixon.
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power rounded out the Top 10.
Of the rookies – other than the overachieving Leist – Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), Zach Veach (Andretti), Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) and Pietro Fittipaldi were 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th respectively.
Carlin Racing’s first oval test in IndyCar saw Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton propping up the timesheets, albeit within 1.6sec of Sato’s top time.
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