IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay says that both his team Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter Racing stand to benefit from the arrangement that led to Hunter-Reay driving Carpenter's car in testing at Sonoma on Wednesday.
Andretti Autosport did not participate in the test; however, Hunter-Reay spent the morning running in Carpenter's car before handing it over to Carpenter in the afternoon.
The teams followed a similar arrangement in testing at Fontana last year, when Marco Andretti worked with Carpenter's team.
"This is an interesting opportunity, and different to usual," said Hunter-Reay. "But Ed and I are good friends. We were teammates in 2009 [at Vision Racing] and have remained friends off the track as well.
"We found an opportunity to work together and develop a few things, so that's what we're doing today. It makes sense for all involved, and I get a different perspective on things, and Ed Carpenter Racing being a one-car team gets a different perspective as well. So it's a good opportunity.
"Anytime you read that IndyCars are testing and you're sitting at home it's the worst feeling, because you feel like you're sitting in the classroom while everybody else is in the playground, and you also know that everybody else is moving forward. So I am definitely thankful for being here."
Carpenter, who won last year's season-finale at Fontana, said that it made sense for the Chevrolet teams to cooperate with the aim of helping to progress the overall Chevy package.
"This goes back to something we started talking about in the offseason," he said. "One of the great things about being a part of Team Chevy is that we really do work together, and this is a part of that. Marco ran my car at Fontana when we did the Chevy test out there, and this is kind of part two."
Other participants at the test included KV Racing Technology's Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro, Panther Racing's JR Hildebrand, Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing's Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' Tristan Vautier, Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud, and Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
"This is a great time of year to be out on track," said Hildebrand, a resident of nearby Sausalito, Calif. "Run to run, morning to afternoon, things are much more consistent. Once you get into summer, that element changes. It's a very temperature-sensitive track. As far as the actual track conditions go, they are always a little bit different.”
Next up for the drivers and teams is the first IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on March 12-13 at Barber Motorsports Park.