Alex Palou tops the first day of IndyCar testing at Sebring

Alex Palou tops the first day of IndyCar testing at Sebring

Alex Palou topped the 15-car IndyCar testing at Sebring as the entire field finished within a second of the benchmark time.

Reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou was the fastest in the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda with a lap time of 52.088 seconds, leading the first day of the two-day IndyCar testing at Sebring International Raceway.

Alex Palou turned the fastest lap on the 1.67-mile course in 52.0883 seconds out of 1,047 total laps completed as he sported an all-new livery in preparation for the new season which gets underway in St Petersburg next week.

“It was a quick day with offseason IndyCar testing today,” Palou said. “We always want as many days as possible, but it was still great to be back.

“The car felt amazing and looked even better on-track than what I had pictured. We went through quite a few things, as everyone did today. We had a big list from engineering, and we tried to get through as much as we possibly could.

“We obviously couldn’t check everything off the list, but we found a few good things and were quite fast at the end of the day. This was actually my first time being P1 in Sebring so I’m very, very happy with that and how the day went overall.

“Now, we’re looking ahead to St. Pete, which is coming up fast where we’ll look to have an amazing start to the season.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard finished second on the timesheets with his RLL Honda, just a hair slower than Palou.  Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden came in third ranking Chevrolet engines among the top performers in the test.

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta was fourth in the No. 26 Honda and Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi made it five cars from five different teams in the top five with his No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevy.

Rossi completed 89 laps, ranking as the driver with most runs, using the three pairs of Firestone tires each driver was allowed to use.

Jack Harvey completed all of his laps in the afternoon portion of the day’s allocated time, staying on course with Dale Coyne Racing although he does not yet have a confirmed ride for the upcoming season.

The cars’ configuration was identical to what the drivers will drive in the 2024 season’s first rounds.

All of the cars had updated parts installed, such as a lighter gearbox housing and Aeroscreen, but none of the hybrid powertrain components. The electrical components are expected to be set up in time for the second half of the upcoming season.

The majority of the drivers who took part in the running on Monday will watch from the sidelines while their teammates run on Tuesday.

Pato O’Ward stood out as an exception, as he took the wheel of David Malukas’ #6 car for the first time while the young driver recovers from a broken wrist.

On Tuesday, O’Ward will complete laps in his #5 car to make sure both are prepared for the March 10 season kickoff in the streets of St. Petersburg.

He will be running alongside the remaining half of the IndyCar field, which consists of Romain Grosjean, Santino Ferrucci, and Will Power.

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