Team Penske have kicked their championship winning weekend at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in style.
Roger Penske who celebrates 50 years in motorsport saw his drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud complete a Team Penske 1,2,3 while Juan Pablo Montoya ended the day in 6th place.
Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet who ended the day with the fastest time of 01:16.6678s commented on his day by saying:
I have to thank Team Penske. The Hitachi car has been dialed in. When we left here last Thursday practice, we felt really confident. We try a lot of bits. I guess that paid off. So today was just a continuation of what we finished that day. It seemed to be working really well.” (About Team Penske having the championship clinched): “For the 50th anniversary of Team Penske, having Roger get the championship, having the championship on the 50th anniversary is just a perfect situation for Roger. We’re extremely happy, especially after last year, being so close and losing on the last one. Great recovery from the team. As far as my position, I actually talked to my two other drivers to see if they can sort it out, whatever happens, but if it can help out so we can finish 1-2-3 in the championship. That would be a phenomenal year, even that I don’t have the chance to win the championship.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet who goes into the championship decider this weekend trailing team mate and title rival Simon Pagenaud by just 43 points ended the day with a fastest time of 01:16.7072s and speaking following the day of action he commented by saying:
I think we’re in a good spot. The Verizon Chevy ran well today in practice. We’ll go back and look at data and work on what we can do for tomorrow in qualifying. I definitely love this track and it’s challenging, but I believe we’ll be fine for tomorrow.
Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Hewlett Packard Enterprises Chevrolet rounded out the top three with a fastest time of 01:16.9757s. Speaking following the session, the Frenchman commented by saying:
It was really great to get back into the car. It took some of the edginess away. Today was a good start to the weekend for the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet team. We had good pace in the second session after trying a couple of different things in the morning. I’m looking forward to building on that tomorrow and get a good qualifying result.
Juan Pablo Montoya in the No.2 Verizon Chevrolet ended the day in sixth place with a fastest time of 01:17.1836s and speaking following the session the Colombian commented by saying:
We made some good progress in the afternoon session. The hum by Verizon Chevy had good balance at the end of the session. This track is fun to race. It’s really important to finish on a strong note.