Former Champ Car and NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger may have earned the most headlines for his first run in an open-wheel machine since 2006, but Takuma Sato took the top spot in Tuesday's test session at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.
Sato, the new driver of A.J. Foyt's No. 14 Honda, out-hustled Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (who led the morning session) with a time of 51.947 seconds. Dixon settled for P2 in the session with a lap of 52.017 seconds, while Will Power posted the third-quickest lap (52.153 seconds) to lead the Chevrolets.
“I'm happy that we did some good lap times at the end of the day, but it is only testing,” said Sato. “Still, it's encouraging and a nice boost for the ABC Supply team. Everyone worked well together, so it was a good day."
As for Allmendinger, he climbed into a Team Penske IndyCar and worked his way into a rhythm on the Sebring road course. He wound up 12th out of 13 drivers with a fast lap of 52.618 seconds, but it certainly wasn't a bad showing by the California native.
Comparing himself to the other two Team Penske drivers, 'Dinger was two-tenths of a second off of Helio Castroneves' best time (52.410 seconds, 7th) and within half a second of Power.
"I'm looking for the best opportunity," said Allmendinger, who has been confirmed to test again during IndyCar's 'Spring Training' session at Barber Motorsports Park next month according to RACER Magazine.
"It slowly has come back to me. Everything feels real fast. A [NASCAR Sprint] Cup car has more horsepower, but because of its weight that sensation of speed is a lot different. When you get an IndyCar on a road course, it feels like it has 1,500 horsepower."
SEBRING TEST SESSION
Overall Times -- Tuesday
1) 14-Takuma Sato, Foyt/Honda, 51.947 seconds
2) 9-Scott Dixon, TCGR/Honda, 52.017 seconds
3) 12-Will Power, Penske/Chevy, 52.153 seconds
4) 10- Dario Franchitti, TCGR/Honda, 52.322 seconds
5) 18-Justin Wilson, Coyne/Honda, 52.327 seconds
6) 11-Tony Kanaan, KV/Chevy, 52.381 seconds
7) 3-Helio Castroneves, Penske/Chevy, 52.410 seconds
8) 15-Graham Rahal, RLL/Honda, 52.413 seconds
9) 83-Charlie Kimball, CGR/Honda, 52.439 seconds
10) 78-Simona de Silvestro, KV/Chevy, 52.442 seconds
11) 67-Josef Newgarden, Fisher/Honda, 52.498 seconds
12) 2-A.J. Allmendinger, Penske/Chevy, 52.618 seconds
13) 22-Oriol Servia, P+DRR/Chevy, 52.690 seconds.
Times provided by INDYCAR public relations