IZOD IndyCar testing got off to a slow start at Sebring on Wednesday, waiting through the morning as the 1.65-mile short course dried from an overnight thunderstorm and morning sprinkles. A handful of drivers finally got on course at 1 p.m., but testing was soon brought to a halt again as rain returned.
“We went out and right away I think we found quite a bit of time,” said Graham Rahal, who also lapped by himself on Tuesday with his new Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda. “The baseline of the car was really good, so I can't say it was too challenging to get up to speed. Gerry (Hughes, race engineer) and the guys have done a great job.
"We had some big changes in mind and some ideas that we wanted to try and unfortunately Mother Nature doesn't want us to try them. We've been fighting the rain. But I think we've done a good job with our goal of being methodical and figuring things out. I certainly don't know where we stack up in terms of lap times but I'm not that worried, to be honest. We didn't get to run as much as we would have liked but we'll be back out there tomorrow working away. It's going to be a very full day because we've got a lot of things on our list that we really want to try and the guys are working hard right now to get these things done over night so we can get some sort of direction from them. They are important things and we want to try to figure out if they are worth wile to use throughout the year.”
Rahal ran 51 laps in total with a best lap of 54.2sec, according to the team.
“We ran four laps in the morning and 47 in the afternoon and had just got into our stride at 2:30 when the rain came down with two and a half hours to go and we hadn't really gotten any further in terms of the items we wanted to test,” related Hughes. “It was another frustrating day in low grip conditions, thwarted by rain again. We should have a fine, dry day tomorrow but it certainly won't be as warm as it was today.”
Twelve drivers are expected to participate in the final day of testing of the year on Thursday, including former Star Mazda champion and Firestone Indy Lights winner Conor Daly in the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing and 2012 Firestone Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car. Justin Wilson was on hand to drive the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing car, but he said he's not signed for the 2013 season yet.