After cooling their heels Monday due to persistent rain, teams got down to business at Auto Club Speedway on Tuesday to get in useful test mileage on the California speedway ahead of the impending mandatory close of testing.
"We're putting in some miles for Chevy and seeing how we can progress for next year. It sure is good to get back into the Verizon No. 12 car; we've spent too much time apart," Team Penske's Will Power told IndyCar.com. "I spent about a month after the season ended in Australia and ran the V8 Supercar race and spent time with family, but it sure is good to get back into a familiar car – an IndyCar.
"Chevy has given us great support and they continue to work hard to get us the best engine in the field. I am really looking forward to 2013 and putting it all together. We keep getting close but not quite there for the championship. I think we know what we need to do to win a championship, and with me, the team and everyone focusing, we can hopefully do it."
Power was joined by Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport, Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing, and Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing. The testing window for 2012 closes Dec. 14, and several of the same drivers will be on hand at the Sebring International Raceway short course Dec. 12-13 as part of a final multi-team test, which will also see the IndyCar debut of Conor Daly, driving for A.J. Foyt Racing.
At Fontana Tuesday, drivers and teams ran through items requested by Chevrolet engineers in the morning and then worked on their own programs in the afternoon. Castroneves topped the times with laps in the 217mph range, just ahead of Dragon's Bourdais, who recently signed a multi-year deal with Jay Penske's team.