BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Will Power, who has won twice at Barber Motorsports Park and was the Verizon P1 Award winner for the 2014 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, posted the quickest lap of the morning session -- and of the two-day Verizon IndyCar Series Promoter Test -- on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course.
The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, had a best lap of 1 minute, 7.3118 seconds. That's a full second quicker than his 2014 pole-winning time on Firestone alternate tires. Scott Dixon holds the track record with a lap of 1:06.7750 in Round 1 of qualifying in 2013, also on Firestone alternate tires that offer more grip and under cooler ambient temperatures that also provide more track grip.
Click it: Session results
Twenty-one cars turned 680 laps in the session as the ambient temperature is forecast to reach 80 degrees. A 2-7 p.m. (ET) session will wrap up the initial all-teams test of the aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda in preparation for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 29.
Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Stefano Coletti, a GP2 series veteran, was second quick (1:07.5224) in the No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet. Teammate Sebastien Bourdais, driving the No. 11 team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing car, was third (1:07.5829). Graham Rahal in the No. 15 Mi-Jack car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (1:07.6992) was the quickest Honda driver.
"There is a lot of difference between the old car and the new one. Obviously, there is a lot more downforce and it's a lot quicker," said Coletti, who has driven both the Dallara IR-12 aero package and the new platform. "For me, the first time here and I really like this track. It's a lot of fun to drive, demanding and physical. We've been working on getting the proper baseline set-up so I could feel good in the car and started pushing today."