O’Ward leads 17-car IndyCar test at Texas

Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet driver Pato O’Ward continued his strong form in IndyCar off-season testing by topping the speed charts at Texas Motor Speedway today.

O’Ward leads 17-car IndyCar test at Texas

The 21-year-old who won the Indy Lights title in 2018 and finished fourth in last year’s NTT IndyCar Series – his first full season at this level – lapped the 1.44-mile Speedway in 23.325sec, an average speed of 222.25mph.

That means the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet driver has now led the last three group tests, lending credence to the theory that his blend of pace and consistency will make him a title threat.

In this instance, he was 1.4mph faster than the second fastest driver of the day, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport-Honda – although naturally the picture is blurred by the draft effect, as in who did and didn’t get a tow, and to what extent.

Third fastest went to Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, one of seven drivers to take part in yesterday’s test to explore different downforce options.

Simon Pagenaud led Team Penske-Chevrolet teammate Will Power in fourth and fifth respectively, the latter turning the most laps of the day at 247.

Felix Rosenqvist ensured both Arrow McLarens were in the top six, as he led the man he beat to the 2019 Rookie of the Year title, Colton Herta of Andretti Autosport-Honda.

The Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevys of Rinus VeeKay and Ed Carpenter were eighth and 11th, sandwiching Josef Newgarden (Penske) and Sebastien Bourdais, driving for AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy on his team boss’s home territory. Trackside Online reported that Bourdais suffered a minor incident with a brush of the Turn 2 wall.

Scott McLaughlin got the fourth Penske into the top 12, ahead of his oval racing debut when the series returns to TMS for the double-header on May 1-2. He turned 233 laps and finished up ahead of several race-winning series veterans including defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal.

Tomorrow will see Dale Coyne Racing on track, with Ed Jones being accompanied by Pietro Fittipaldi who is returning to IndyCar action in preparation for his four races as oval sub for Romain Grosjean and is required to do a refresher test.

Cody Ware, son of race entry co-owner Rick Ware, is also expected to carry out his oval Rookie Orientation Practice.

RANK # DRIVER TEAM ENGINE BEST MPH* TOTAL
1 5 Pato O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 23.325 222.25 146
2 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 23.473 220.85 178
3 60 Jack Harvey Meyer-Shank Racing Honda 23.505 220.55 205
4 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 23.515 220.46 224
5 12 Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 23.520 220.41 247
6 7 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 23.556 220.07 136
7 26 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda 23.604 219.62 197
8 21 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 23.608 219.59 208
9 2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 23.680 218.92 219
10 14 Sebastien Bourdais A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 23.700 218.73 166
11 20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 23.707 218.67 162
12 3 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Chevrolet 23.762 218.16 233
13 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 23.800 217.815 184
14 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 23.807 217.75 167
15 29 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda 23.838 217.47 160
16 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 23.895 216.95 207
17 4 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 23.922 216.70 140
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Series IndyCar
Event Texas March testing
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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