Chip Ganassi Racing became the first Verizon IndyCar Series team to complete a track test in 2017 as they conducted a day of on track action at the Sebring Raceway in Florida on Thursday.
Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Honda, Scott Dixon in the No.9 Honda, Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda and Charlie Kimball in the No.83 NovoNordisk Honda were all in action as Ganassi ran all four cars with Honda power for the first time.
Tony Kanaan conducted a shakedown test of the new power unit following the conclusion of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Managing Director Mike Hull was happy with how the test went saying:
We ran all four cars today, all day until dark. Each car had a pretty large list individually. There were some common items on the list but a lot of individual items. Being a team with four cars and having a new product to test with this being our first test day with all four cars, we got a lot accomplished today. We learned an awful lot. We explored the opportunity we had to get it done today without any issues. All in all, it was really good.
Chip Ganassi Racing will be hoping that they can start the season with a competition package from Honda and Hull went on to say:
We probably added 20 percent to our test list by having three weeks to talk about it. “The car that we are racing today is totally new for us. Yes, it’s the same DW-12, but the weight distribution (between the Chevrolet and Honda engines and aero kits) is different, so the way the mechanical aspect of the car acts, you have almost to take the notebook you have and throw it away mechanically with the suspension part of the car. The aero is certainly new for us, so we have to match the aero to that. We had to relearn a lot of things that we probably had tossed out. “The damper program that we had, we needed a complete rethink. The engineers that work together had to come together on what we should be trying opposed to what has worked for us the last three years.
Ganassi last ran with Honda power in 2013 before moving to Chevrolet in 2014 with Scott Dixon winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series title. Mike Hull commented by saying:
You have to have this open-minded aspect of what you will do when you change products and that is what we have done. We got a lot out of December even though we didn’t run on the racetrack. It helped us understand where we need to go as a team. I think it’s a great lineup and Honda has some really strong teams. We are the new guys on the block here and hopefully we can work together with all of the Honda teams to where we all run respectively on the racetrack.
The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series gets underway on March 12 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg for ticket info visit – http://gpstpete.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126&Itemid=175