Twenty IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, including Ho-Pin Tung for Dragon Racing and Giorgio Pantano for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, participated in a test Thursday at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Aug. 28 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Will Power – who won from the pole there last year – posted the quickest unofficial lap time of 1:19.04 on the 12-turn, 2.303-mile course in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.
Power will look to become the first repeat IZOD IndyCar Series winner in Sonoma. The race has had six different winners (Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti and Power) in as many races.
“We are trying to find our pace,” Power told IndyCar.com. “We've been struggling on road courses of late but this track is pretty consistent and that will help us. I always enjoy coming out here.”
Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing, 1:19.49) and teammate Franchitti (1:19.60) were next on the unofficial chart. Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:19.77) and E.J. Viso (KV Racing Technology-Lotus, 1:19.79) and Pantano (1:19.79) also were in the top five.
Pantano is filling in for the injured Justin Wilson for this race and the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix (Sept. 4). He made two IZOD IndyCar Series road course starts with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005. He had a best unofficial lap time of 1:19.79.
The 28-year-old Tung – unofficially the slowest of the 20 cars at 1:21.04 – is on the entry list for Infineon in the No. 8 Dragon Racing car. He sought to become the first Chinese driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 in May, but a Pole Day practice crash, in which he suffered a mild concussion, curtailed those plans. He subsequently competed in the Assen round of the Superleague Nations Cup for Team China in June.