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Castroneves ends IndyCar’s Phoenix test on top


Photo: IndyCar

Chris Jones

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Helio Castroneves topped the timesheets in both the fourth and final three-hour test session and overall at the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Test in the West, a.k.a. “PrixView,” at Phoenix International Raceway.

Driving the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, Castroneves clocked in a best time of 19.2735 seconds at 190.894 mph around the 1.022-mile oval.

The track is not the same configuration or length as when IndyCar last raced at Phoenix in 2005, nor when the official track record of 19.608 seconds (183.599 mph) was set by Arie Luyendyk in 1996.

So while all drivers down to 18th placed Max Chilton set a best lap under that old mark at some point in one of the four three-hour sessions, none count as official track record laps.

Nonetheless, Castroneves’ mark provides a target for the field to shoot for when the series returns April 1-2 for the Phoenix race, the second race of the year.

Some laps were tow-assisted while others were single laps.

The fourth session featured two incidents, which was different than the three previous sessions.

Will Power had an engine failure in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, a rarity, with smoke and fire out the back entering Turn 1 just before sunset.

Meanwhile in the final hour, Jack Hawksworth hit the wall exiting Turn 2 in the No. 41 ABC Supply Co. Honda, in what was the only contact moment of the weekend.

Both drivers were OK, with Hawksworth checked, cleared and released after his incident.

Times from both session four and combined are below.



Previous session reports are linked here:

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