The final day of NTT IndyCar Series Spring Training proved to be a mixed bag for new Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist. For the reigning series champion it was a troublesome day as set up issues on his PNC Bank Honda compromised running at the Circuit of the Americas.
Dixon’s crew tried some alternate set up tweaks that failed to result in any significant breakthroughs, just over a month out from the inaugural IndyCar Classic at the COTA circuit.
“We tried a few different things, but I don’t feel like we really got it – it kind of just feels really disconnected for me in some portions of the track”, explained a disappointed Dixon. Suspension issues were pinpointed as the source of the problem on the #10 Honda . However this impacted on braking and steering during Dixon’s test runs as well.
“It seems like there is something wrong with the suspension”, said Dixon who was one of 25 drivers testing at COTA. “That is what we were kind of chasing before. The steering wheel is kinked to the left and then also when it brakes, it brakes funny. We’re trying to figure that as well.”
Rosenqvist was by far the happier of the two Chip Ganassi Racing drivers at the conclusion of testing. The rookie posted the 4th fastest time in the final session, 0.44 of a second shy of the benchmark fastest lap by Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi.
A cautiously optimistic Rosenqvist remarked: “I think we can really fight in the top five, but there are still things we have to learn and work on.” Despite showing early pace on day 1 of testing, the 27-year-old accepted there was a “big gap” to the leading drivers which resulted in “a bit of homework” overnight for the former Formula E driver.
“It’s been positive”, he concluded of the two-day COTA test. “For me, I kind of learn every time I’m out. But after two days here, it feels like we’re done and it’s time to move on to Sebring.”
Rosenqvist and Chip Ganassi Racing will run the #10 NTT DATA Honda at next month’s final test at Sebring International Raceway prior to the IndyCar season opener on March 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida.