Team Penske Leads First Day of IndyCar Testing

February 24, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (February 24, 2010) - The colors may have changed, but the production remained the same for Team Penske on the first day of open testing for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Sporting a new-look black and white design on its three cars, Team Penske claimed three of the top four spots on the timing sheets Wednesday at Barber Motorsports Park as teams tested en masse to prepare for the upcoming season.

Team Penske swept the top two times on the very cold and blustery day at the 2.38-mile road course, which will host the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 11. Ryan Briscoe posted the top lap of the day at 1:10.505 in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Briscoe, who finished third in the IndyCar Series title chase in 2009, looked strong right out of the gate on Wednesday before posting his fast lap in the afternoon as the sun warmed the cold track and tires began to come up to temperature.

"It's nice to be at the top of the speed charts," said Briscoe. "It's important because it is our only test before the first race, so we're all comparing times. It's nice to have the Team Penske cars on top. It's a great way to start the year."

Driving the No. 3 Team Penske entry, Helio Castroneves shook off the rust of the off-season and he also ran well throughout the day as he carded the second-fastest lap overall in 1:10.714.

"Today was about getting a rhythm," said Castroneves. "The last time I was in a Team Penske car on a road course was Infineon (last August). You need testing to get your muscles back into shape. Even if you've been working out, you still need to get your rhythm back and get to work. That was the goal today. Tomorrow we'll work on the small details."

While Justin Wilson owned the third-quicket lap, Will Power wound up fourth overall behind the wheel of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Power, who led last season's open test session at Barber Motorsports Park, also topped the morning test times on Wedneday.

"It felt great to be back in the car," said Power. "This has been the longest off-season of my career. We were able to learn a few things today. The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car ran great today. The team worked together nicely and we had a productive day. I am looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow."

A total of 20 cars posted times on Wednesday as activity got off to a late start due to the cold temperatures in the mid 40s. Team Penske and the rest of the IZOD IndyCar Series will return to action Thursday with a second day of testing slated to get underway at 10 a.m. ET.