For the first test of 2018, three teams participated in the Sebring Team Test at Sebring Raceway in Florida. Andretti Autosport, Dale Coyne Racing, and Chip Ganassi Racing debuted the 2018 universal aero kits in limited running over two days, Jan 9-10.
Andretti and DCR ran both days, while CGR ran on Wednesday only. Per the testing schedule, on Tuesday, Andretti ran rookie Zach Veach in a rookie evaluation and Alexander Rossi had a half day and shakedown in Ryan Hunter-Reay’s #28 Andretti Autosport-Honda.
DCR ran Sebastien Bourdais in an all-black test livery on Tuesday, getting to grips with setups. Bourdais told RACER the new car; which apart from the aero kits also includes new electronics, including a Formula 1-inspired LCD dash steering wheel is a ‘different animal’.
Twitter: We’re green for testing @sebringraceway ! Rain expected around 3pm though! #IndyCar https://t.co/sSw3Lbnfk3 (@DaleCoyneRacing)
On Wednesday, Andretti’s testing schedule included Hunter-Reay in his #28 machine, with Rossi sporting a brand new number, #27 on his. The new number came courtesy of a swap between Marco Andretti to the Bryan Herta associated #98 and bringing Rossi into the main team.
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#napaknowhow #teamindycar #babygirlgotanewoutfit #clutchandchill https://t.co/LcU0MHUa5j (@AlexanderRossi)
CGR ran both team newcomer, Ed Jones and veteran Scott Dixon, per the test schedule. Jones, debuted with DCR in 2017 before leaving to fill Tony Kanaan’s seat, after the latter moved onto A. J. Foyt Enterprises in the offseason.
Despite numerous outlets reporting that Indy Lights driver and purported DCR frontrunner, Zach Claman DeMelo, would test on Wednesday, apart from a post showing the early morning fog; DCR was quiet about Claman DeMelo’s test schedule. The 19-year-old was present at Sebring but unable to run; it was later discovered due to a missing drug test result. His test for DCR has been rescheduled.
Some of the drivers and teams showed off their liveries with the aero kits on social media, to overwhelming positive fan reviews.
Twitter: #IndyCar fans: Now that you’ve gotten a look at a couple of new paint schemes on the 2018 universal aero kit, what… https://t.co/sTZRwA3epc (@Open_Wheels)
The next Team Test is Homestead-Miami Speedway on Jan 22, with only Carlin expected. Both Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton are expected to participate in a shakedown and a half day for the new IndyCar entry.
Several more teams are expected to test at the second Sebring test on Jan 24. Including 2018 part-time teams, Juncos Racing and Michael Shank Racing.
YouTube: 2018 Indycar January Testing at Sebring