Race Weekend Central

Simon Pagenaud Tops 1st Indy Test Session at Barber

Simon Pagenaud is already looking good with Team Penske.

Pagenaud topped the speed charts in the first of two March 16 IndyCar test sessions at Barber Motorsports Park, with a lap time of 67.75 secs. Pagenaud, 30, did so driving the No. 22 for Team Penske, one of his first times in the car. Pagenaud previously drove for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, winning four races from 2012-2014.

Pagenaud was followed by a group of Chevrolets. In all, the manufacturer took the top-seven positions and 10 of the top 13. Early on, it appears the Chevrolet may have a small advantage over Honda with the new aero kit.

Three-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon was second fastest, followed by Josef Newgarden and 2014 champion Will Power. Helio Castroneves rounded out the top five, with KV Racing Technology teammates Stefano Coletti and Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the top seven for Chevrolet.

Graham Rahal was the fastest of the 10 Honda drivers present at the test with a 68.66-second lap. However, Rahal’s vehicle forced a red-flag midway through the session, as it had to be towed in. Carlos Munoz and James Jakes rounded out the top 10.

There were a few incidents during the session. Sage Karam, prepping for his first race with Chip Ganassi, injured his wrist after going off-course on his fourth lap.

While teams have tested before the March 16 test at Barber, this session was the first provide live timing and scoring for fans. IndyCar will test again at 2 p.m. ET, followed by an additional two test sessions from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET and 2-6 p.m. ET on Tuesday (March 17).

About the author

A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.

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