Four drivers who competed for the full season in Firestone Indy Lights last year have been projected to contend for the 2010 championship. During the series' only preseason Open Test, they stood 1-4 on the time chart.
James Hinchcliffe, driving for Team Moore Racing, posted a quick lap of 1:14.9714 to pace the 13 drivers participating in the test Barber Motorsports Park – a month before the opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
"It was a great day for us on the No. 2 car," Hinchcliffe said. "I'm really happy, especially coming into a new team with new people. We are all working well together right off the bat and that translated into the speed we showed on the track. Everyone at Team Moore Racing deserves a huge pat on the back, because there have been some long hours getting everything ready in time for this test. I'm happy that the hard work paid off."
Martin Plowman in the No. 27 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport car was second quick at 1:15.1319, while teammate Charlie Kimball was third at 1:15.1715. Sebastian Saavedra, who finished third in the 2009 series standings, was fourth with a best lap of 1:15.3817 in the No. 29 Bryan Herta Autosport car. All four are with new teams this season.
"I was pretty happy with today," Plowman said. "I'm never going to be truly happy unless I am P1 or on pole, but it was a solid day. We got a lot done with our testing program. We started off the day strong with a good base car and fine-tuned it the rest of the day. I don't think we showed a true potential today, but we did some long runs in the afternoon that leaves me very optimistic for when we come back."
The top seven were separated by only 0.6326 of a second. Veteran racer Jan Heylen made his debut in the No. 17 Team E entry and was fifth quick (1:15.5407). Stefan Wilson, who competed in six races in 2009, was sixth (1:15.5912) in the No. 28 Bryan Herta Autosport entry.
Another newcomer to the series, Frenchman J.K. Vernay, was seventh (1:15.6040) in the No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.
A total of 14 drivers participated in the test with rookie Adrian Campos having the only major incident during the 1,074 laps recorded. Campos was uninjured.