Arrow McLaren Team Principal Gavin Ward says that the team got off to a good start on the opening day of track action at the Thermal Club in California ahead of Sunday’s 1 million dollar Challenge.

Speaking following the action Ward said:

“We got off to a good start today. We did most of our performance-focused running in the morning when we thought the track conditions were most representative. Certainly we feel like we’ve made a lot of progress since a year ago when we were here. I feel pretty good about that, and the drivers are all pretty comfortable. The conditions with the track being so hot this afternoon and not forecasted to be that hot the rest of the weekend, we took that time to do more background work. We won’t read too much into the times from that session. Tomorrow will be interesting. The track is going to cool off; the wind is going to pick up, so the conditions will be different. The teams that can adapt to that will be the ones in the best shape for qualifying.”

Alexander Rossi in the No.7 VELO Arrow McLaren Chevrolet ended the day in fourth place with a fastest time of 01:39.7556s and speaking following the action, Rossi said:

“It’s great to be here at The Thermal Club. I think we rolled off strong here this morning, and we’re in a happy window with the car. This afternoon, it was the hottest it’s going to be all weekend, so it wasn’t super representative of what it’s going to look like for tomorrow and Sunday. We didn’t really want to use any of our tires this afternoon, but instead focus on being as prepared as possible for tomorrow to make sure that we can qualify well and transfer to the final.”

Pato O’Ward was sixth in the No.5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet having set a 01:39.9124s and speaking following the action he said:

“Today was a good day. Tomorrow is going to be an even better day. We’ve got more Firestone tires to use, so more happy time. We’ve started off the test in a much better window than when we were here last year, so that’s a very good step forward. I’m very glad to see that. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Callum Ilott in the No.6 NTT DATA Chevrolet was ninth overall with a fastest time of 01:40.0821s and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“I think we came out really strong in the morning. The team did a great job to put all three cars in a good window. Then, we were just ironing out the little areas that we needed to. The afternoon was a bit of a sacrifice; we didn’t burn any tires, so that session was more of a preparation for tomorrow and Sunday. Hopefully, we can continue the momentum into tomorrow. I think the pace is good; it’s just a very different weekend compared to a normal one, so there are a lot of different things to look at with the approach. But I think the team has done a really good job.”


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