INDY CAR: French flavor in practice on Long Beach streets
April 11, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
INDY CAR RELEASE
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- It unofficially was France Friday on the streets of Long Beach as Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais were 1-2 on the time sheet in the afternoon practice session for the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Pagenaud, of Montmorillon, France, was quickest on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit with a lap of 1 minute, 9.1488 seconds in the 45-minute session. Bourdais, a three-time winner of the race, was .0120 of a second back in the No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing car.
"I think the team’s done a great job over the winter at helping the car on the curbs and on the bumps," said Pagenaud, driving the No. 77 Charter Communications car for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car. "I feel pretty confident this weekend; we’ve got a pretty good package. Obviously, with different series running there will be different rubber on the track. You have to adapt. As the track rubbers up, the softness of the car needs to go up or needs to go down, and that’s what we’ll have to adjust for the red Firestone tires that are going to give us more grip. It’s quite exciting."
Five different teams were represented in the top five, with Honda having a 3-2 edge in the afternoon session. The 23 drivers recorded 765 laps combined.
“You need the balance (in Long Beach) and it can be a very difficult place," said Bourdais, the native of Le Mans, France, who's started twice at Long Beach from the pole. "We still have a bit of work to do, but the KVSH group has done a whole lot over the winter and we’re showcasing in the Mistic car this weekend and hopefully we can put it up front. It’s going to be hard to make a move (in the race), so track position is going to be crucial more than ever. But every time we say that we end up seeing more passing than any other race.”
Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Jack Hawksworth was third quick (1:09.4409) in the No. 98 Charter/Castrol Edge entry for BHA/BBM with Curb Agajanian, while 2013 race winner Takuma Sato was fourth (1:09.4524) in the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing. Will Power, a two-time winner and three-time pole sitter here, was fifth (1:09.4980) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.
Drivers also were practicing for the standing start -- the first of the season and the first at Long Beach since 2008 -- for the 80-lap race April 13.
Practice preceding the three rounds of qualifications is set for 1 p.m. (ET) April 12, with the three rounds of qualifications starting at 5 p.m. The IMS Radio Network broadcasts all sessions in conjunction with Timing & Scoring on www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 14 app. The broadcast also is on Sirius 209 and XM 209.
Click it : Groups for Segment 1 of qualifications
NBCSN will telecast qualifications (6-7 p.m. ET) and the race (4-7 p.m. ET). The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race telecast on NBCSN (2:30 p.m. ET) precedes the Verizon IndyCar Series telecast.
Circuit: 1.968 miles, 11 turns
Verizon IndyCar Series on-track times (all times local/PDT):
Sunday, April 13: 9-9:30 a.m. (Warm-up)